Board of Behavioral Sciences
Behavioral Science License Defense
Firm attorneys have experience representing marriage and family therapists (MFTs), licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCCs), licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), and licensed educational psychologists (LEPs) facing investigations or disciplinary proceedings by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Each year, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences receives about 2,000 complaints, including criminal conviction notices and written complaints from the public, other licensing and professional groups, and government agencies. The most common allegations include:
- Practice issues, including gross negligence and intentional or reckless misconduct
- Professional misconduct and sexual misconduct
- Substance abuse or using controlled substances with a client
- Practicing beyond the scope of a license
- Criminal convictions
Review, investigation, and recommendation process
The board reviews and investigates each complaint and decides whether to close the case, issue a citation or lesser form of discipline, or refer the matter to the California Office of the Attorney General for formal disciplinary proceedings. The attorney general’s office may file an accusation or, in the case of an applicant, a statement of issues, which initiates a formal hearing process under the California Administrative Procedures Act.
Discipline imposed at the administrative hearing may include a public reproval, multiyear probation with complex terms, license suspension, or license revocation, along with recovery of the board’s costs.
While each situation is unique, it’s generally wise to engage an attorney before responding to a board investigator or a request for information. Answering questions, providing documents or evidence, or agreeing to other actions without counsel can be risky. As a professional license holder, you have important statutory and constitutional rights. Immediately seeking advice from an attorney experienced in professional licensing helps protect your reputation and career.
How we can help
Our experienced counsel can work closely with you to close an investigation without discipline or minimize the discipline the board may eventually impose. In many cases, we can assist in negotiating an agreed resolution with the board’s attorney without a hearing. We can also aggressively defend you at a contested hearing.
If you are facing criminal prosecution on any charges, you need to know and understand the consequences that a guilty or no contest plea and a conviction can have on your license. A conviction that results from circumstances outside your professional work that appears to have no correlation with your practice may still have a significant impact on your license.
Whether you have been wrongfully accused of misconduct or have made an uncharacteristic mistake, our attorneys offer the experience, expertise, and resources to aggressively defend you before the board. We will listen, offer advice, and develop a plan to obtain the best result possible.