Professional Licenses and Administrative Suspensions

June 28, 2024
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

If you are a licensed professional, you are probably always aware that your license could be suspended for violation of your professional or ethical duties. Many professionals are not aware, however, that their license can be suspended even if they haven’t done anything necessarily wrong. These types of suspensions, often referred to as administrative suspension, can unfortunately be just as problematic as a substantive suspension. If your license has been suspended for any reason, a professional license defense lawyer can explain what your options are for getting it reinstated. 

Common Reasons for Administrative Suspensions 

Professional licenses can be suspended for a variety of reasons beyond professional or ethical violations. Some of the most common reasons for administrative suspensions include the following: 

  • Failure to follow renewal procedures
  • Failure to pay licensing dues or other charges
  • Failure to meet continuing education requirements

There may be other requirements that you must meet in order to remain in good standing. If you have questions about these requirements or your license has already been administratively suspended, a professional license defense lawyer can help. 

How Administrative Suspensions Can Differ from Substantive Suspension

You could face suspension of your license if you are accused of some kind of misconduct. When there is misconduct, it is typically a complaint-driven process. The person or entity alleging the misconduct (which can include colleagues, the licensing authorities, or clients or patients) file a complaint with the disciplinary board. The board will then notify you of the complaint and then begin an investigation. If the board determines through the investigation that misconduct possibly occurred, a hearing will be scheduled. You can attend the hearing, be represented by counsel, submit evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. 

By comparison, an administrative suspension happens almost automatically. You may receive notice that your license will be suspended, but generally speaking, there will be no investigation or opportunity for a hearing. As a result, it is very important to stay on top of things like your licensing renewal, dues, and other obligations. Otherwise, your license could be suspended before you realize it. 

Administrative Suspensions Can Be More Serious Than You Realize

Do not assume that an administrative suspension is of no consequence. Depending on your profession, practicing without a license is an ethical violation of itself. Lawyers, for example, are prohibited from practicing without a license. Knowingly practicing while your license has been suspended can lead to additional misconduct charges. 

In addition, your liability insurance may require that you remain in good standing as a condition of providing coverage. Your employer may also take action against you if your license is suspended. 

Getting Your License Reinstated

The best thing to do is to make sure your license isn’t administratively suspended in the first place. If it has already been suspended, then the next best thing is to stop practicing and take whatever steps are necessary to get your license reinstated. These steps can vary according to your profession, but they will generally include the following:

  • Payment of late fees and other penalties
  • Resolution of the underlying issue that led to your suspension, such as catching up on continuing education credits or payment of outstanding dues

You may need to fill out a separate application in order to have your license reinstated. In addition, the steps you need to follow may depend on how long your license has been suspended for.  In addition, do not assume that your license has been reinstated until it has been confirmed by your licensing board.

The reinstatement process can be confusing or difficult to follow. If you have questions, a professional license defense lawyer can help. 

Is Your Administrative Suspension a Sign of Something More Serious?

Many license suspensions are due to simple oversight, but even that can be a warning sign. If your license has been administratively suspended, you need to take stock to make sure that more serious problems are not on the horizon. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Am I overloaded with work? Do I need to hire additional staff or colleagues? 
  • Am I struggling to meet deadlines due to depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns? 
  • Am I suffering from financial issues that make it difficult to pay for my continuing education classes or licensing fees? 

Your license is your livelihood. If you are having difficulty keeping your license up to date, there may be other areas of your practice that could lead to even larger problems. 

Contact The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford Today

If you are facing problems with your license, we can help you get them resolved. Contact us today by calling 410-514-6099 to schedule a consultation.