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Understanding What is Considered “Unprofessional Conduct" for Your Professional Licensure

Posted by Michael Geller | Dec 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

Being accused of “unprofessional conduct” and having to confront the prospect of losing your professional license is daunting, and may even feel overwhelming. In this situation, it is perfectly understandable to feel stress and anxiety, but you need to quell those concerns by standing up and defending yourself. One of the best first steps to take is understanding the scope and legal parameters of what is deemed to be “unprofessional conduct” sufficient to risk losing your professional license.

Overview of What is Considered to Be Unprofessional Conduct

The term “unprofessional conduct” covers an array of actions and behaviors depending on your specific profession and the guidelines governing conduct within your respective profession. Nevertheless, unprofessional conduct is generally considered to be conduct that is:

  • Unethical
  • Dishonest
  • Actions or behavior that falls below, or violates, the applicable standards governing your chosen profession.

Examples of Unprofessional Conduct

Below is a list of common examples of unprofessional conduct that could lead to a professional potentially losing their license or having their license suspended temporarily:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual misconduct (e.g., allegations of harassment)
  • Violating federal laws or state laws
  • Insurance fraud
  • Conduct that is likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public

What to Expect When You're Accused of Unprofessional Conduct

If you are accused of unprofessional conduct, there is no doubt the process of defending yourself before an administrative board can be intimidating. This is why it is important to develop an understanding of what to expect during the process. You also owe it to yourself to retain the services of a respected and knowledgeable professional license defense lawyer. Why should you hire a lawyer? Because they can help guide you through the process and help reduce some unnecessary stress and anxiety you may be feeling about the allegations.

In most unprofessional conduct cases, here is what to expect in terms of the investigation and review process:

  • A formal letter will be sent to you from a professional administrative or oversight board. The correspondence will likely provide a detailed overview of the allegations.
  • The correspondence should also include a notice explaining your right to provide a formal response to the allegations.
  • You may be contacted by an investigator. The investigator may ask you a series of questions about the allegations.
  • Written responses are submitted to the administrative board or oversight committee.
  • An investigation is performed.
  • A hearing is conducted.

Your Professional Licensure and Livelihood are On the Line

If you are subjected to allegations of unprofessional conduct, it is important to take the charges seriously and be proactive in mounting a viable defense. Why? Because if unprofessional conduct charges are uncontested, it could very well lead to you losing your professional license and being unable to earn a living. It could also lead to serious criminal penalties, or even both. 

During the course of an administrative hearing, if you are found to be in violation of guidelines governing professional conduct, you could be hit with the following penalties and punishments:

  • Suspension or revocation of your professional license
  • Restrictions placed upon your professional license
  • Civil penalties (i.e. monetary fines)

This is why it makes sense to retain the services of an experienced professional license defense attorney in San Francisco.

Have Questions? Contact an Experienced Professional License Defense Lawyer

Professional license defense lawyer Michael Geller stands ready to provide effective legal representation to doctors, nurses, dentists, accountants, attorneys, and other professionals who have been accused of unprofessional conduct. As a proactive advocate for professionals, The Geller Firm is committed to making sure conflicts are resolved, risks are managed, and your interests are protected. Contact The Geller Firm today to schedule a confidential case review.

About the Author

Michael Geller

Michael Geller grew up in San Francisco, CA. He attended the University of Southern California for his undergraduate studies, the City University of New York for his medical training, and Santa Clara University School of Law for his legal education.


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