An accusation is a formal statement of charges against a license holder, sent by the licensing board or agency. The accusation includes a description of what you are accused of doing or failing to do that brought about the accusation and potential discipline, along with the laws and rules that you are alleged to have violated. As the license holder, you are identified as the “respondent” on the accusation. The state agency is referred to as the “complainant.” The accusation also contains:
- The particular license or licenses you hold
- The statutes and regulations that authorize the agency to discipline the license
- Facts about the specific allegations and the causes for discipline against the licensee
Unprofessional conduct is the most common cause for discipline against a professional, with different conduct falling under this term depending on the license. The accusation may also allege aggravating factors, which the agency will argue require more serious discipline.
It is important to keep your current address on file with the board or agency that issued your license. If you do not receive an accusation that the licensing agency mailed in the legally approved manner because your address was out of date, you could be faced with a default and your license revoked.
What to do if you receive an accusation
If you receive an accusation, it is wise to contact an attorney skilled at license defense to ensure you take the appropriate actions to defend your license.
Under the California Administrative Procedures Act (APA), you must respond to an accusation within fifteen days of its mailing date to preserve your right to a hearing. This is done by filing a notice of defense.
If you do not file a notice of defense within fifteen days, you forfeit your right to challenge the agency’s disciplinary action and the agency will move forward by default and the agency will impose the discipline outlined in the accusation. Contact us immediately if you failed to submit a notice of defense in the time allowed. It may be possible to secure an agreement with the agency to accept a late notice of defense, or we may be able to file a formal request for a late notice of defense filing if we can show you had good cause for missing the deadline.