California Architects Board License Defense Attorneys

If you are an architect that has been contacted by an investigator from the California Architects Board or facing criminal prosecution, it is important that you quickly seek legal representation to ensure protection of your license and livelihood. One of the most common mistakes professionals make is assuming that cooperation with an investigator from the Board will resolve the inquiry with little or no disciplinary action. The reality is that investigators can take advantage of this cooperation and may simply be building a case against you. While some investigations can be quickly resolved, many are not. With sound and knowledgeable legal representation, you will ensure that your license is protected. What an attorney can do for you.

While the Board may investigate and take action against a license holder for any violation of the Architects Practice Act, the following are some of the more common grounds for alleged violations (1) failure to comply with requirements of written contracts, (2) failure to meet the standard of professional care, thereby committing negligence or willful misconduct, and (3) practicing with an expired license. See California Architects, Summer 2011.

Proceeding without the counsel of a criminal lawyer can have unintended consequences in Sacramento

If you are facing criminal prosecution, it is vital that you know and understand the consequences that a plea and conviction can have on your license. A conviction that results from an incident outside of your employment and appears to have no correlation with your practice of architecture may still have a significant impact on your license. Under Business and Professions Code section 5577, the Board can take adverse action against an architect’s license for a “conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of an architect.” Such crimes may include a crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, even where the alleged crime did not occur in the practice of an architect's profession.

It is important to seek license representation early in the criminal process. We often work with criminal defense attorneys regarding potential license consequences. We can assist your criminal counsel in educating the prosecutor and judge on the license consequences in an effort to reach a more beneficial outcome of the criminal matter. We can also communicate with the Board in an effort to reach an early and swift resolution of the matter. Do not wait until formal proceedings have been initiated to seek legal representation.

Sometimes a key part of our representation is the implementation of a rehabilitation plan. We have relationships with various professionals throughout California who can assist in the mitigation and rehabilitation process. We diligently work with clients to create a plan that will be beneficial to their licensing matter and can also be successfully completed. As evidenced by the California Architects Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines, rehabilitation is a critical aspect to the discipline process. Our experience will ensure that the mitigation and rehabilitation you complete will be done in a manner that can be effectively and convincingly presented to the Board.

Our representation does not end with the investigation or the rehabilitation plan. Of course, many complaints against architects are without merit. We fight for our client throughout the process, raising all relevant legal defenses and principles ensuring the best possible outcome is achieved. The attorneys at Rothschild Wishek & Sands LLP have experience representing professionals before California boards and agencies. For Architects and applicants facing allegations of professional misconduct before the California Architects Board, contact Rothschild Wishek & Sands LLP for knowledgeable and effective representation.

Resources:

Architects Practice Act - Laws and Regulations Pertaining to Architects


LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell

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