Temporary License Suspensions: Why They Happen and What to Do

May 31, 2024
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

If you are accused of professional misconduct or other unethical or illegal activity, one of the consequences you face is a temporary suspension of your license. While the suspension is only temporary, the result is that you are unable to work in your profession so long as the suspension is in effect. This means that you may be unable to earn a living for weeks, months, or even years. If you have been accused of professional misconduct and are facing disciplinary action from your licensing board, we urge you to contact a professional license defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

Immediate Temporary Suspensions

Some professions may have the ability to immediately suspend your license in situations where there are allegations of very serious misconduct. In these situations, the rationale behind the immediate suspension is that there is a significant risk that further harm will be caused to other members of the public or that the potential damage to the reputation of your profession is too great. Whatever the reasoning may be, the reality is that you may suddenly lose the ability to practice before any of the charges have been proven. 

Thankfully, immediate suspensions are fairly rare. That said, you need to take immediate action to protect yourself if your license is suspended. If your board has temporarily suspended your license, you can expect a very aggressive investigation and prosecution. You need someone who can determine whether your license can be temporarily reinstated pending the investigation as well as help you defend yourself against the allegations you are facing. A professional license defense lawyer can advise you of your rights and help you find a way forward. 

Temporary Suspension As a Sanction

Generally speaking, the disciplinary process is initiated when someone files a complaint. The board will then conduct an investigation. If they find that misconduct may have occurred, they will schedule a hearing before the board, at which the parties involved have the opportunity to argue their case. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board will then decide what kind of punishment, or sanction, to impose. 

One of the potential sanctions that licensed professionals can face is a temporary suspension of their license to practice. While an immediate suspension is typically limited to the duration of the disciplinary process, a temporary suspension at the conclusion of the process can be for a period of months or even years. This can create a very serious hardship as the professional will be unable to practice during the time that their license is suspended. It can also cause irreparable damage to their reputation.

A temporary suspension is a very serious punishment. It means that the board believed the misconduct was serious enough to warrant more than a reprimand but not serious enough to warrant revocation. If your license is suspended for a year or more, a temporary suspension can feel like a permanent revocation. You need to take immediate action if you are facing a temporary suspension and contact a professional license defense lawyer. 

What to Do If Your License Has Been Suspended  

It is important to remember that your suspension is only temporary and that you should be able to return to practice in the future. As trying as it may be, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself: 

  • Do not attempt to continue practicing. This may seem obvious, but some professionals will attempt to skirt their suspension by simply changing their job title. For example, a chiropractor whose license has been suspended cannot offer the same services as a “spinal health consultant.” Practicing without a license is taken very seriously by licensing boards, especially when the professional is currently serving out a suspension. 
  • Stay out of trouble. Criminal charges, unpaid debts, and similar issues may jeopardize the reinstatement of your license in the future, especially if there is a character and fitness component. Issues related to your suspension can be especially problematic. For example, if a physical therapist’s license was suspended due to allegations of sexual harassment, if there are subsequent sexual harassment claims. 
  • Understand the reinstatement procedure. In some cases, your license may be automatically reinstated, while in others you may need to apply to the licensing board for reinstatement. 

Contact a Professional License Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing a possible suspension of your license, we can help. To discuss your case and your options, contact us today by calling The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford 410-514-6099 to schedule a consultation.