Veterinarian License Defense Attorney in Gwinnett County, Georgia
Professional veterinarians, like all professionals in Gwinnett County, risk suspension or loss of their license if they are accused of wrongdoing or misconduct and don’t respond effectively to complaints.
If a client makes a complaint against you, the board is duty-bound to investigate. You need to be ready with answers if you don’t want to risk losing the license you worked so hard for and invested so much time in.
Your professional reputation may be unfairly called into question or you made an honest error that resulted in a disgruntled customer.
Regardless, the process can be challenging and stressful. The assistance of a local veterinarian license defense attorney can provide support and seasoned guidance when responding to the allegations so that your professional reputation and career are not impacted.
Adam D. Brown is ready to hear your story and protect your professional rights.
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What are the laws and possible sanctions for vets?
As with all professional licenses, regulations are in place to protect the public. License holders are expected to obtain the relevant qualifications and maintain certain professional standards and ethical conduct when performing their duties.
The Georgia Veterinary Practice Act outlines these expectations in detail. It prohibits anyone without a license to practice as a veterinarian in the state and makes it the responsibility of the professional to renew the license when it is due to expire.
Licensing and consumer complaints are handled by the state veterinarian board. It has the mandate to investigate and if necessary, discipline the veterinarian if complaints are received. These complaints could be for one or more of a multitude of alleged misdemeanors detailed in the Act and described in the next section.
The board investigation could result in the dismissal of the case if the evidence does not support the claim. However, the burden of proof in such cases is usually much lower than in criminal cases.
If the evidence supports the allegation, the board may issue a warning, disciplinary measures, a license suspension or even a license revocation in the most serious cases.
There may be interviews and hearings before the board at which you will need to present evidence to the investigative team. This can be a challenging and stressful experience as your professional reputation is at stake.
Why are veterinarian licenses suspended or revoked in Georgia?
Within the Georgia Veterinary Practice Act, almost every reason for suspension or revocation of a license is detailed, as well as reasons not to issue a license or to renew it.
We will focus on the reasons why active veterinarians may face license action or other disciplinary measures by the board. Not all board complaints lead automatically to a license suspension or restriction. Revocation is only used in the most serious cases.
If you are accused of writing false statements on any documents relating to your practice (including during the license application process), you will likely be called in by the board to answer these claims.
If you have a conviction for a felony on your record or “any crime involving moral turpitude” anywhere in the U.S. (regardless of whether an appeal was sought), this must be disclosed to the board or you could risk license action.
If you had your license to practice veterinary medicine or registration to practice refused, revoked, suspended, or annulled (or any other disciplinary action taken) in any place other than Georgia, this must be disclosed to the board.
If you are accused of engaging in any unprofessional, immoral, unethical, or deceptive conduct construed as harmful to the public, you can be investigated by the board and face disciplinary action. This includes failure to follow good sanitary practices, dishonesty or gross negligence, and cruelty to animals.
If you are accused of knowingly aiding or encouraging any unlicensed person or any person on a suspended or revoked license to practice veterinary medicine, you will likely be called into a hearing with the board.
This is a broad-scoping violation stating that if you knowingly violated any statute, law, rule or regulation anywhere in the U.S. (regardless of whether it was a criminal offense) relating to the practice of veterinary medicine, the board must be informed of this.
Anyone who has been judged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction in Georgia or elsewhere is precluded from practicing veterinary medicine and it will result in automatic license suspension.
If you are accused of an inability to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients for whatever reason (illness, use of alcohol or drugs, or due to a mental or physical condition), you will be asked to submit to a physical examination by the board and you may be precluded from practicing.
All practicing veterinarians in Georgia are required to register with the division director and to notify the board of any change of address or the license may be revoked.
Any veterinarian who engages in the excessive prescribing or administering of drugs or treatments that are detrimental to the patient (or knowingly prescribes them without a legitimate veterinary medical purpose) will be investigated by the board.
It is also a contravention of the professional guidelines to use, prescribe, or sell any veterinary prescription drug without a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
Knowingly making fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statements in any form of advertising may also lead to an appearance in front of the veterinarian’s board.
Any veterinarian in Georgia who has had his or her U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration privileges restricted or revoked must inform the board as it is likely to impact the validity of their professional license.
Why do you need a veterinarian license defense lawyer in Gwinnett County?
With potentially life-changing consequences, you must present a strong defense if you have been unfairly accused or simply made an error of judgement while practicing veterinary medicine.
If your professional qualifications or conduct have been called into question and investigated by the state board, help from a veterinarian license defense lawyer can help clear your name or at least mitigate the impact on your career and your practice.
No veterinarian should have to pay for an honest mistake with loss of their livelihood and reputation so there is no time to waste if you have been informed by the board of a complaint against you.
While there is no requirement to hire legal representation, you will be expected to cooperate fully with the board. Contacting a veterinarian license defense attorney and explaining what happened is an important first step and will provide valuable support at a stressful time.
We will help you formulate a response to the board, gather evidence that supports your position, and build a defense that aims to prevent serious professional consequences. We will also represent you in communications with the board, at interviews and in hearings.
This allows you to focus on your practice and looking after your valued clients while we take care of the legal issues for you.
One professional complaint made against you should not define your veterinarian career forever.