In the State of Wisconsin, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are required to fulfill high standards of knowledge, skill, and professional and personal conduct in order to achieve and maintain their license to practice. A professional may be at risk of losing their license for a variety of disciplinary reasons, but one of the most serious threats to a healthcare professional’s license and career is the possibility of a conviction for criminal charges. If you are under investigation, or if you have been charged with a crime, it is crucial to have a skilled attorney who can help you avoid both criminal and professional penalties.
When Can a Conviction Result in Professional License Discipline?
According to Wisconsin law, both the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) and specific licensing boards have the authority to deny or revoke a professional license from a person who has been convicted of any crime or offense that is related to the practice of their profession. This can include both felonies and misdemeanors. Additionally, some licensing boards have standards in place to discipline professionals who are convicted on charges that are not necessarily directly related to their practice.
Some of the most common criminal offenses that can affect a professional license include:
- Fraud – Health care providers may face charges for a variety of state and federal fraud offenses, including misrepresenting credentials, Medicare or Medicaid fraud, fraudulent billing, embezzlement, and more.
- Drug charges – Providers who have access to controlled substances can face charges for drug diversion, drug trafficking, or unauthorized possession of controlled substances for personal use.
- OWI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, whether in the course of one’s work or on one’s personal time, may be considered evidence of substance abuse that makes a health care professional unfit to practice.
- Assault, abuse, and neglect – License discipline is possible for professionals who are charged with criminal neglect and various forms of violent crimes, especially when committed against patients or colleagues.
- Sensitive crimes – Crimes such as sexual assault, sexual abuse of a child, and public indecency can result in license discipline, whether or not these offenses are related to a person’s profession.
Professionals facing criminal charges should be sure to work with a criminal defense attorney who can help them build a case that may allow them to avoid conviction. They should also work with an attorney who has experience specific to professional licensing, as a criminal investigation often comes in conjunction with administrative investigations from licensing boards and other governing agencies. Even in the case of a conviction for a lower-level offense, a health care provider may be able to avoid severe professional discipline by following reporting requirements and working with an attorney to make the case that the offense is unrelated to their practice.
Contact a Milwaukee, WI Professional License Defense Attorney
At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our attorneys have decades of experience providing both criminal defense and professional license defense services to Wisconsin clients. We have the knowledge and skills to guide and represent you throughout all of the complications in your case and help you avoid unnecessary consequences. Contact our Milwaukee criminal defense or professional licensing lawyers today at 414-271-1440.