26 Aug 23

California Medical License Defense Attorneys

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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 05:51 pm

California Medical License Defense Attorney

We appreciate that decisions taken by the California Medical Board have substantial ramifications that might last for years. This is why we work tirelessly to safeguard your license, assets, and ability to practice.

We appreciate that decisions taken by the California Medical Board might have long-term effects. This is why we work so hard to ensure that your license, assets, and ability to practice are all well-protected.

Skilled physician license defense attorneys

Our experienced medical licensing lawyers at Spodek Law Group know how to make sure your case goes as smoothly as possible. We devise effective defense tactics that put you in the best light possible and make full use of all of the resources available to us in your defense.

Physicians, psychiatrists, surgeons, doctors, physician assistants, nurses, podiatrists, and health care corporations have all been represented by our team. They know how to defend doctors in front of the Medical Board of California, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Department of Consumer Affairs. They’re knowledgeable about the tangle of professional license and criminal/DUI regulations.

Our medical license lawyers in California can assist you in understanding and resolving all medical licensing concerns, including:

  • Medical Board of California complaint investigation
  • Physician DUI or criminal charge
  • Gross negligence or professional misconduct allegations
  • Unlawful prescribing practices, DEA, opioid and drug diversion investigations
  • Health facility and peer review reporting (BPC § 805)
  • Failure to adequately supervise nurse or physician extenders
  • Mental health issues, a positive drug test, or substance abuse problems
  • Sexual misconduct allegations
  • Health care fraud, Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Medicare fraud allegations
  • Medical Practice Act violations
  • Medical board disciplinary actions

You look after the patients; now let us look after you.

We understand the strain you’re under, and we’re dedicated to protecting you, your practice, and your reputation. We don’t pass judgment; we’re merely here to assist.

Call the offices of Spodek Law Group if you want the finest possible result. Our skilled medical license attorney will fight for you and your license.

We represent doctors from all around California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties.


Medical license defense: The 6 stages

Medical license defense is the legal practice of defending a physician at 6 stages in disciplinary actions:

  1. Physician complaint or criminal charges,
  2. Investigation and interview,
  3. Formal Accusation,
  4. OAH Administrative Hearing,
  5. Appeal, and
  6. Reinstatement.

Our medical license defense lawyers in California focus on defending physicians who are licensed by the Medical Board of California. The Medical Practice Act and CA MBC rules impose professional requirements on physicians. Call our offices immediately to talk with a lawyer if you require legal assistance.

Medical licenses from the MBC and OMBC can be disciplined at various levels. A criminal record, pending criminal actions, discipline history in another state, USMLE scores, program or education inadequacy, or a medical degree from a university not recognized by the California Medical Board can all result in new license applications being denied.

1. Complaint or Criminal Offense Charge

When the Central Complaint Unit (CCU) receives one of the following notices, the Medical Board’s enforcement operation begins:

  • A patient, insurance company, health care practitioner, or anonymous person files a complaint alleging that you have broken the Medical Practice Act.
  • A criminal charge or conviction is announced.
  • An 805 report on a health-care facility or a peer review.
  • Notice that, in another state, disciplinary action is being taken.
  • Any of the following California Business and Professions Code violations
    • outpatient surgery center adverse event report (BPC § 2216.3),
    • medical procedure outside of an acute care hospital resulting in patient death (BPC § 2240(a)
    • Medical malpractice settlement or award disclosure (BPC § 801.01),
    • coroner report of death due to physician gross negligence (BPC § 802.5),

A CCU analyst will investigate the complaint or notice to see if it falls under the Board’s jurisdiction and whether it warrants an investigation and disciplinary action. The analyst may ask for a written response from the licensee in response to a complaint.

If the analyst suspects a violation, the case will be referred to one of the DCA Division of Inquiry’s 12 district offices for further investigation.

Physician criminal charge or DUI

If you have been arrested for a physician DUI or any other alleged criminal behavior, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with medical license defense. The time immediately following an arrest for a crime is critical for preserving your driver’s license. Attempts should be made to have the charge dropped or reduced.

2. License Investigation and interview

A phone call, medical records request, subpoena, or letter from the MBC or the Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation, Health Quality Investigation Unit can alert physicians to a medical license investigation (HQIU). The HQIU is in charge of investigations for the California Medical Board and the OMBC.

Former law enforcement detectives, medical investigators, forensics experts, DEA officers, and other experienced investigators with years of experience in the art of interrogation and investigation work for the Medical Board HQIU. They are sworn peace officers with the authority to make arrests, serve warrants, and testify in hearings based on hearsay.

Risks, distractions, and ambiguity arise as a result of medical licensing investigations. Despite the fact that investigators frequently appear pleasant, seeking to “hear your side of the story,” in actuality, they are frequently constructing a case against you with great care.

These interviews and investigations are a great way to show that discipline is unnecessary.

No matter how certain you are of the facts, it is critical not to take an inquiry or interview lightly. It’s quite easy to incriminate yourself or undermine your defense by accident. You’re up against experienced investigators who aren’t on your side. The primary purpose is to conclude an investigation with no disciplinary action.

Our first step is to obtain a summary of the claims leveled against you, as well as the breadth of the investigation so far. Then we assist you in developing a strong defense strategy and response that demonstrates why discipline is unjustified while also preparing you for the interview. We may take some or all of the following measures, depending on the circumstances:

  • Examine the facts and make sure you grasp the evidence.
  • Get a professional opinion on pertinent records.
  • Determine who the appropriate medical and forensic specialists are and consult them.
  • Examine the laws that regulate the alleged misconduct in detail.
  • If necessary, get a psychological evaluation and treatment plan from a professional.
  • For any chemical dependency problem, devise a rehabilitation strategy.
  • Use a defense investigator to interview witnesses and gather any evidence that is required.
  • Obtain any relevant records needed.
  • Examine any possible criminal culpability and how it can effect your case.
  • Present a response package to the Board Investigator in order to deny the charge or reduce the severity of the crime.

After the investigator has obtained all pertinent information, the case is referred to an MBC Expert Reviewer for review in order to determine if disciplinary action should be taken.

If you are under investigation, contact Spodek Law Group to discover how to protect yourself and build a strong legal case. An expert Medical Board of California defense attorney can considerably improve your chances of successfully resolving your case during the investigative phase with no disciplinary action.

Please Be Aware: If your case is resolved while it is still under investigation, the allegation against you does not get published on the Medical Board’s website or BreEZe.

3. The Filing of a Formal Accusation

If a Deputy Attorney General in the Attorney General’s Office’s Health Quality Enforcement Section considers the legal criteria for a significant violation has been reached, official charges will be drafted in an Accusation. When the Attorney General files an Accusation against your license, it is made public on the Medical Board website, the MBC iOS app, and BreEZe.

The Board may ask the Attorney General to file a petition to force a licensee to submit to a competence or psychiatric assessment instead of, or before, filing a Formal Accusation in some cases.

If you do not answer within 15 days of receiving an Accusation, you will lose your license due to a default decision (Gov § 11505). If you hire our firm to handle your case, we must file a ‘Notice of Defense’ as soon as possible to commence a dual defense strategy:

  1. Negotiate the best terms available with the Attorney General’s Office for a Stipulated Settlement (plea arrangement). A Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order will be executed to resolve the dispute if terms are reached that you agree with. The order will spell out the conditions you must follow in order to keep your license.
  2. Prepare for a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings  (OAH) of the Department of Justice if necessary.

The Repercussions of a Formal Accusation

Receiving a Formal Accusation can be devastating on a professional, emotional, and financial level — especially for physicians who are loving, healing healers. Accusations are public, and the Patient’s Right to Know Act mandates strict documented patient disclosures, which can exacerbate the harm to a physician’s practice.

This is when the advice of an expert and smart medical license defense attorney can assist you protect your license. We’ve defended doctors at every stage of the legal process for decades.

You may rely on our knowledge to accurately identify your risks, devise a comprehensive defense strategy, and achieve the best possible outcome. We work meticulously to identify flaws in the Board’s evidence, present you in the best light possible, and demonstrate how you are so much more than the claims listed in an Accusation.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case and how to protect yourself.

4. The OAH Administrative Hearing

If your case isn’t resolved during the Accusation stage, you’ll have to go to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, or San Diego for an Administrative Hearing. This is a judicial action in which your case will be decided by an Administrative Law Judge from the OAH Medical Quality Hearing Panel.

The hearing will take place at OAH and will include a Judge, your attorney, and a Deputy Attorney General with extensive experience. Both the prosecution and the defense will be entitled to present their cases and evidence in accordance with the rules of evidence. The Judge will review the evidence given and will have 30 days to make a proposed ruling (CA Government Code § 11517).

A seven-member panel of the MBC will then review the Judge’s proposed decision and make a final disciplinary decision whether to revoke, suspend, or restrict the license, or impose other administrative actions. The most common outcome of an Administrative Hearing is the retention of the license subject to probationary terms.

5. The Writ of Mandamus Appeal

A writ of mandamus is a technique of appealing a ruling in California Superior Court if you have lost a medical license case at an OAH Hearing. A licensee has 30 days to file a writ petition in Superior Court once the OAH judgment becomes effective.

Writ petitions are rarely used to overturn Administrative Hearings’ decisions. A writ of mandamus can grant remedies if your attorney believes the MBC or OAH made mistakes. If a writ petition does not result in a favorable ruling, the California Court of Appeals has jurisdiction, followed by the California Supreme Court. Appeals are a highly technical area of law, requiring complicated evidence, a strict deadline, and a limited scope of review.

6. Reinstatement of Your License or Penalty Relief

Spodek Law Group represents licensees submitting petitions for reinstatement and other types of relief. Physicians can petition the Medical Board of California for reinstatement of a previously revoked license, a reduction in penalties, or early termination of a probation period. Varying time periods apply before a petition can be filed:

Three years following the effective date of the surrender or revocation for unprofessional conduct, a petition for license restoration may be filed. The petition for a license surrender or revocation due to mental or physical sickness must be filed within one year of the disciplinary action’s effective date.

After two years have passed from the effective date of the disciplinary action or the day the license was issued in probationary status for ordered probation periods of three years or more, a petition for early termination of probation may be filed. If the probation period is less than three years, the petition can be filed after one year has passed since the action took effect.

When at least one year has passed since the effective date of the disciplinary action or the date the license was issued in probationary status, a petition for modification of penalties may be filed.

Without a hearing or argument, the MBC can deny a petition filed within two years of the previous decision’s effective date. The MBC will not examine a petition if the following conditions are met:

  • The licensee is serving a felony sentence, which may include parole or probation.
  • The licensee is facing a charge or a petition to revoke probation.

Spodek Law Group has a track record of drafting successful petitions for penalty reinstatement and modification. Call us to discuss your choices and how we can assist you defend your medical license at every level of the process.