California Medical License Defense Lawyer

If you are facing a Medical Board of California investigation or physician criminal charge, you need a respected and experienced California medical license defense attorney as early as possible in the process. Medical license investigations and accusations threaten your medical license, reputation and career.

We understand that California Medical Board enforcement actions trigger serious consequences that can affect you for many years. This is why we work hard to vigorously protect your license, your assets and your ability to practice.

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CONTENTS

Former prosecutor skilled in physician license defense

At Chudnovsky Law, our experienced medical license lawyer knows how to ensure your case will end as favorably as possible. We develop effective defense strategies that present you in the best possible light and utilize every resource we have in your defense.

Attorneys Robert K. Weinberg and Suzanne Crouts are respected medical license defense attorneys with a combined 50 years experience handling 6,500 medical license defense, criminal defense, health care fraud, DEA, and Federal crime cases.

Our team has experience representing physicians, psychiatrists, surgeons, doctors, physician assistants, nurses, podiatrists and health care corporations. They are adept at defending physicians with the Medical Board of California, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, DEA, and the Department of Consumer Affairs. They are qualified in the complex intersection of professional licensing and criminal law.

Our California medical license attorney can help you understand and resolve all medical license issues, including:

You take care of patients – Now let us protect you

We know the pressure you are dealing with and are 100% focused on protecting you, your reputation and your practice. We do not judge, we are only here to help.

If you would like the best outcome possible, call (844) 325-1444. Our experienced medical license lawyer will vigorously defend you and your license.

We represent physicians throughout California, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County and Ventura County.

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What does a Medical License Defense Attorney do

The 6 stages of medical license defense

Medical license defense is the legal practice of defending a physician at 6 stages in disciplinary actions: [1] Doctor complaint or crime, [2] Investigation and interview, [3] Formal Accusation, [4] OAH Administrative Hearing, [5] Appeal, and [6] Reinstatement.

Our California medical license defense attorneys specialize in defending physicians licensed by the Medical Board of California. Physicians are subject to professional standards defined in the Medical Practice Act and CA MBC regulations. If you need legal help, call (844) 325-1444 to speak with a lawyer.

MBC and OMBC medical licenses can face discipline at different stages. New license applications can be denied due to a criminal record, pending criminal actions, discipline history in another state, USMLE scores, program or education deficiency, or a medical degree from a university not recognized by the California Medical Board.

Existing medical licenses can face disciplinary actions in six stages:

1. Physician Criminal Complaint or Criminal Charge

Medical Board enforcement activity begins when the Central Complaint Unit (CCU) receives one of the following notifications:

  • A complaint filed by a patient, insurance company, health care practitioner or anonymous party that believes you violated the Medical Practice Act.
  • Notice of a criminal charge or conviction.
  • Health care facility or peer review 805 report.
  • Disciplinary action in another state.
  • Medical malpractice settlement or award disclosure (BPC § 801.01), coroner report of death due to physician gross negligence (BPC § 802.5), outpatient surgery center adverse event report (BPC § 2216.3), or medical procedure outside of an acute care hospital resulting in patient death (BPC § 2240(a)).

A CCU analyst will research the complaint or notice to determine if it falls within the Board’s jurisdiction and whether investigation and disciplinary actions should be taken. The analyst may request the licensee provide a written response to a complaint. If the analyst determines a violation may have occurred, the case will be referred to one of 12 district offices for investigation by the DCA Division of Investigation.

Physician criminal charge or DUI

If you have been arrested for a physician DUI or any alleged criminal act, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer knowledgable about medical license defense. The period after arrest for a crime is a crucial window of opportunity to protect your license. Every effort should be made to get the charge dismissed or reduced.

Robert Weinberg and Suzanne Crouts are medical license defense lawyers and criminal defense attorneys. They has over 50 years of experience handling physician criminal matters. They strategically balance delicate disclosure, plea, and criminal defense considerations key to protecting a medical license and ability to practice after the criminal issue is resolved.

2. Medical License Investigation, Interview

Physicians can become aware of a medical license investigation by receiving a phone call, medical records request, subpoena or letter from the MBC or Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation, Health Quality Investigation Unit (HQIU). The HQIU handles investigations for the Medical Board of California and OMBC.

Medical Board HQIU investigators are former law enforcement detectives, medical investigators, forensics experts, DEA agents and other experienced investigators with years of experience in the art of interrogation and investigation. They are sworn peace officers with the power to arrest you, execute warrants and testify to hearsay in hearings.

Medical license investigations create risks, distractions and uncertainty. Even though investigators often appear friendly, casually asking to “hear your side of the story.” In reality, they are usually meticulously building a case against you.

Interviews/investigations are a key opportunity to show discipline is unwarranted

It is crucial not to take an investigation or interview lightly, no matter how confident you are in the facts. It is very easy to inadvertently incriminate yourself or weaken your defense. You are dealing with seasoned investigators who are not on your side. Getting an investigation closed with no disciplinary action is the primary goal.

Our first step is to request a summary of the allegations against you and determine the scope of investigation to date. Then we help you prepare a robust defense strategy and response that demonstrates why discipline is unwarranted and prepares you for the interview. Depending on the case, we may take some or all of the following steps:

  • Carefully review the facts and understand the evidentiary record.
  • Get an expert review of relevant records.
  • Identify and consult appropriate medical and forensic experts.
  • Thoroughly review the laws governing the alleged misconduct.
  • Obtain an expert psychological assessment and rehabilitation plan, if needed.
  • Develop a rehabilitation strategy for any chemical dependency issue.
  • Utilize a defense investigator to interview witnesses and obtain any needed evidence.
  • Obtain any relevant records needed.
  • Assess any potential criminal liability and how that affects your defense.
  • Meet with the Board Investigator to present a response package to disprove the allegation or minimize the degree of the offense.

Once the investigator has gathered all relevant information, the case is sent for review by an MBC Expert Reviewer for determination on whether to initiate disciplinary action.

If you are facing an investigation, call us at (844) 325-1444 to learn how to protect yourself and develop an effective legal defense strategy. Representation by an experienced Medical Board of California defense attorney can greatly increase the odds of resolving your case in the investigation phase with no disciplinary action.

Important Note: If your case is resolved in the investigation stage, the allegation against you will not be published on the Medical Board’s website or Breeze.

3. Formal Accusation Filed

If a Deputy Attorney General in the Health Quality Enforcement Section of the Attorney General’s Office believes the legal standard has been met for a serious violation, formal charges will be drafted in an Accusation. Once the Attorney General files an Accusation against your license, it will become a public record published on the Medical Board website, MBC iOS app and Breeze.

In some instances, the Board may request that the Attorney General file a petition to compel a licensee to submit to a competency or psychiatric examination instead of, or preceding the filing of, a Formal Accusation.

Once you receive an Accusation, you will have 15 days to respond or you will lose your license via a default decision (Gov § 11505). If you retain our firm to resolve your case, we need to quickly and timely file a ‘Notice of Defense’ to begin a dual defense track:

a) Carefully negotiate the best terms possible for a Stipulated Settlement (plea agreement) with the Attorney General’s Office. If terms are reached that you agree with, a Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order will be executed to resolve the matter. The order will outline the terms you will abide by in order to keep your license.

b) If needed, prepare for a Hearing with the Department of Justice, Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

Consequences of a Formal Accusation

The professional, emotional and financial costs of receiving a Formal Accusation can be devastating – especially for physicians who are warm, healing caregivers. Accusations are publicly available and the Patient’s Right to Know Act enforces strict written patient disclosure requirements that can amplify the damage to a physician’s practice.

This is when the experienced counsel of a respected and strategic medical license defense lawyer can help protect you and your license. We have decades of experience defending physicians at every stage in the process.

You can rely on our experience to honestly assess your risks, develop a holistic defense strategy and obtain the best resolution possible. We work methodically to expose weaknesses in the Board’s case, present you in the best possible light and explain how you are so much more than the list of allegations described in an Accusation.

If you have received an Accusation, contact us as early as possible in the process to review your case and how to protect yourself.

4. Administrative Hearing at OAH

If your matter is not resolved in the Accusation stage, an Administrative Hearing will be necessary at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento or San Diego. This is a legal proceeding with a presiding Administrative Law Judge from the OAH Medical Quality Hearing Panel deciding your case.

The hearing will occur at OAH with a Judge, your counsel and a Deputy Attorney General with many years of experience. Prosecution and defense will be able to argue their case and present evidence subject to rules of evidence. The Judge will take the information presented under consideration and has 30 days to render a proposed decision (CA Govt Code § 11517).

A seven-member panel of the MBC will then review the Judge’s proposed decision and make a final disciplinary decision whether to revoke, suspend, or restrict the license, or impose other administrative actions. The most common outcome of an Administrative Hearing is the retention of the license subject to probationary terms.

Robert K. Weinberg and Suzanne Crouts have over 50 years experience representing clients in OAH, California Superior Courts and U.S. Federal Courts for professional licensing and criminal defense matters. They have handled over 6,500 cases and administrative hearings and are prepared to vigorously defend you and skillfully challenge any case presented by the Medical Board.

5. Writ of Mandamus Appeal

If you have lost a medical license case in an OAH Hearing, a writ of mandamus provides a method of appealing the decision in California Superior Court. A licensee usually has 30 days from the effective date of the OAH decision to file the writ petition in Superior Court.

Writ petitions are infrequently utilized to overturn the result of Administrative Hearings. However, if your attorney believes errors were made by the MBC or OAH, a writ of mandamus can provide relief. If a writ petition does not produce a favorable ruling, the next venue with jurisdiction is the California Court of Appeals, and then the California Supreme Court. Appeals are a very technical area of law with complex evidence, timeline and scope of review limitations.

6. License Reinstatement or Penalty Relief

Chudnovsky Law represents licensees submitting petitions for reinstatement and other types of relief. Physicians can petition the Medical Board of California for reinstatement of a previously revoked license, a reduction in penalties, or early termination of a probation period. Varying time periods apply before a petition can be filed:

  • Petition for license reinstatement may be filed three years after the effective date of the surrender or revocation for unprofessional conduct. For a license surrender or revocation due to mental or physical illness, the petition may be filed one year after the effective date of the disciplinary action.
  • Petition for early termination of probation may be filed after two years have passed from the effective date of the disciplinary action or the date the license was issued in probationary status for ordered probation periods of three years or more. If the period of ordered probation is less than three years, the petition can be filed after one year has elapsed from the effective date of the action.
  • Petition for modification of penalties may be filed when at least one year has passed from the effective date of the disciplinary action or the date the license was issued in probationary status.

The MBC can deny a petition filed within 2 years of the effective date of the prior decision without a hearing or argument. The MBC will not consider a petition if:

  • The licensee is under sentence for any criminal offense, including parole or probation.
  • There is a pending accusation or petition to revoke probation against the licensee.

Chudnovsky Law is experienced in creating winning petitions for reinstatement and modification of penalties. Call us at (844) 325-1444 to assess your options and how we can help protect you at every stage of medical license defense.

Physician criminal defense attorney

In recent years, media coverage and surges in state and federal enforcement activity in areas like health care fraud strike forces and drug task forces have made many physicians feel like they are unfairly targeted.

Law enforcement investigations, arrests and criminal charges can pose a serious risk to your California medical license. Even a simple misdemeanor physician DUI can trigger license investigations and disciplinary actions that can hurt your reputation and practice.

It is crucial that doctors hire a specialized physician criminal defense attorney or physician DUI lawyer that is expert in both licensing and criminal law. Doctors have complex criminal defense needs that must be meticulously executed in order to secure the best possible outcome.

Attorneys Robert K. Weinberg and Suzanne Crouts are rare criminal defense lawyers for doctors with expertise in both medical license defense and criminal defense. They are adept at navigating the complex intersection of federal, DEA, professional license, and criminal laws.They have over 50 years experience defending physicians and healthcare professional facing every kind of criminal matter, including:

  • All misdemeanor and felony charges
  • State, DEA, CMS, H&HS OIG, DOH and DOJ Federal criminal investigations
  • Physician DUI, DUI drugs, felony DUI
  • Prescription offenses, positive drug test results
  • Drug trafficking, RICO or unlawful prescribing of controlled substances
  • Health care fraud, Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, Medi-Cal fraud
  • Kickback violations, false claims
  • Stark Law, Physician Self-Referral Law
  • HIPAA violations
  • Domestic violence
  • Sex crimes, sexual misconduct

Physician criminal charges must be strategically resolved in a way that balances plea, financial liability, disclosure and other considerations crucial to the overall goal of protecting your license, your reputation and ability to practice.

The period immediately after you become aware of an investigation or criminal charge is a critical window to make every effort to get the charge dismissed or reduced.

If you are under investigation or have been arrested for any alleged criminal offense, contact us as early as possible to schedule a consultation to review your case and how to best protect your license and practice.

RELATED: The 17 Best Criminal Defense Strategies
RELATED: The 20 Best DUI Defense Strategies

Best Medical Board California License Defense Attorney

9 questions to ask a physician criminal defense attorney before hiring:

  1. How many medical license defense cases have you handled?
  2. How many physician criminal defense cases have you handled?
  3. Do you have expertise in both criminal law and medical licensing law?
  4. How do you handle physician criminal defense case differently?
  5. What is your track record getting criminal charges reduced or dismissed?
  6. What are the credentials of the lawyer that will actually handle my case?
  7. Will my case get handed off to a less experienced attorney?
  8. How do you charge for your services? Do you offer a flat fee?
  9. Do you know how many of your physician clients had their license revoked?

Physician criminal reporting requirements

California Business and Professions Code §802.1 requires physicians to file a report to the Medical Board if (1) criminally charged with a felony, or (2) convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. Health facilities and peers have reporting requirements under §805.

Chudnovsky Law provides criminal defense for physicians facing criminal charges and represents licensees reporting criminal actions to their board.

Criminal action reports should comply with laws without revealing more than required, nor trigger unnecessary disciplinary actions or legal hurdles. An experienced Medical Board of California investigation lawyer can help you lawfully walk that fine line.

Sexual abuse and misconduct reporting requirement (SB 425)

SB 425 (Hill, Chapter 849) became effective January 1, 2020 imposing enhanced reporting requirements on health facilities and entities. When a patient, or their representative, submits a written allegation of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse to a healthcare facility or entity, they are required to report the allegation to the Medical Board of California within 15 days of receipt using Health Facility Reporting Form 805.8.

The willful failure to file the required report is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 per violation. The non-willful failure to file the report is punishable by a fine not to exceed $50,000 per violation.

Read the MBC announcement on SB 425

Download health facility reporting form 805.8

Medical license criminal record changes (AB-2138)

Assembly Bill 2138 limits the discretion and medical licensure denial criteria making it easier for prospective licensees with criminal records to obtain and maintain medical licenses effective July 1, 2020.

RELATED: Medical license with criminal record under AB-2138

Resources:

Medical License defense attorneys Robert K. Weinberg, Tsion Chudnovsky and Suzanne Crouts represent California physicians throughout the entire state of California.

About our attorneys

When your reputation and career are at stake, your choice of attorney matters. Expert counsel from a smart, strategic attorney can help you navigate the dangerous situation you are facing and secure the best possible outcome. In license defense cases, there is no substitute for experience and knowledge of the system.

Chudnovsky Law is rated Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, an honor given to a select group of trial lawyers from across the country who have demonstrated exceptional qualifications in their area of the law.

The firm’s three physician defense attorneys, Robert K Weinberg, Tsion Chudnovsky and Suzanne Crouts have a combined 65+ years experience practicing law. Our lawyers are known and respected by clients, judges and prosecutors as honest, compassionate and highly skilled attorneys. We take a comprehensive, holistic approach to defending doctors and employ every resource we have to secure a favorable outcome for you.

Attorneys Robert K. Weinberg and Suzanne Crouts have handled over 6,500 cases, administrative hearings, and court trials. They are authorities in the complex intersection of licensing and criminal law for physicians and healthcare businesses. They have decades of experience representing physicians, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists in professional license defense, federal, DEA, and state criminal matters.

Read Robert Weinberg bio →

Read Suzanne Crouts bio →

A dedication to client service and delivering results has made Chudnovsky Law amongst the top-rated medical license defense attorneys in California:

To speak with an attorney about your case and see if we are the best medical license attorney for you, call (844) 325-1444 to contact us

Our Client Testimonials

“I had an excellent experience with attorney Robert Weinberg and his staff on a professional license matter. He was always professional and strategizing 3 steps ahead. He meticulously prepared me for a high stakes interview and was able to get my complex medical license case closed with no discipline. I whole heartedly recommend Robert and Chudnovsky Law for any nursing or medical license matter.”

“I can give Chudnovsky Law and attorney Robert Weinberg a strong recommendation. He resolved a dangerous investigation against our assisted living facility that could have resulted in federal criminal charges and losing our medical license. The case was closed with no action. Robert was a consummate professional and very effective at clearing our name. If you need an expert professional license defense attorney that is enjoyable to work with, give him a call.”

“Chudnovsky Law is a very professional and effective law firm. Robert Weinberg handled my complex case involving federal criminal law and medical licensing laws. He was always honest, up front and direct with expert advice and solutions. I have no complaints on a high stakes, difficult case.”

TOM

“Attorney Robert Weinberg and Fred were excellent. I knew after speaking with them that this was the team I needed to help me. They knew exactly what to do and gave clear, straightforward answers to my questions. They were the most knowledgeable team I could find after speaking with several professional license defense attorneys. Robert gave me very detailed instructions on what to do and helped create an effective response package for the Board of Registered Nursing investigator.

He achieved the exact outcome I wanted. My case was closed with no action and my nursing license record remains spotless. I highly recommend Chudnovsky Law and this team.”

KELLEN

“I have known Robert Weinberg and been familiar with his work as a professional license defense lawyer for years. My relative is a nurse and I recently got to see him take care of her Los Angeles DUI case.

He saved her nursing license and delivered excellent results. He was a pleasure to work with and we can’t recommend him enough.”

MARIAH

“I can only say positive things about Robert Weinberg and Chudnovsky Law. Fred and Heidi were also very helpful. I interviewed several professional license defense lawyers and Robert and his team made it clear they really cared about me and protecting my nursing license and career. They put a lot of work into my case and always kept me up to date and returned my calls.

I could not be more pleased in how they resolved my case and helped me get through this very scary period. I recommend them to any nurse or medical license professional that need an expert lawyer.”

“It is unlikely you’ll find a more effective professional license defense attorney in California than Robert Weinberg. He did an exceptional job resolving a nurse license matter for my husband. He really got him out of a very tight spot. Robert is very knowledgable about the Board of Registered Nursing and how to resolve DCA investigations. We will happily refer him to anyone in need of a good licensing lawyer.”

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Licensing Consultation and Analysis

If you would like to book a 1 hour legal analysis and advice session on your license case, please visit the page below.

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Los Angeles

AT METROPOLITAN COURT

CERCA DE METROPOLITAN COURT

PRÈS DE METROPOLITAN COURT

1933 S Broadway #1100, Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 212-5002

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Direcciones

Orange County

NEAR HARBOR JUSTICE CENTER

CERCA DEL CENTRO DE JUSTICIA DE HARBOR

PRÈS DE HARBOR JUSTICE CENTER

23 Corporate Plaza Dr, Suite 150, Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 750-2500

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Long Beach

NEAR LONG BEACH COURT

CERCA DE LA CORTE

PRÈS DE LONG BEACH COURT

309 Pine Ave, Suite 200, Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 800-4080

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Santa Monica

BY SANTA MONICA PIER

CERCA DEL MUELLE

PRÈS DE LA JETÉE

1541 Ocean Ave, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 340-7220

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Service Area

When looking for a medical license defense attorney near me, note we represent physicians in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, and all of California:

Los Angeles County: Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Baldwin Park, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Canoga Park, Carson, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Compton, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Downtown Los Angeles, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Gardena, Glendora, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Inglewood, La Canada-Flintridge, La Habra, La Mirada, Lakewood, Lancaster, Long BeachLos Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Northridge, Norwalk, Pacoima, Palmdale, Pasadena, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Rancho San Fernando, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, South Pasadena, Sylmar, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Toluca Lake, Torrance, Van Nuys, Venice, Walnut, West Covina, West Hollywood, Whittier and Woodland Hills.

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Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.

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Riverside County: Riverside, Moreno Valley, Corona, Temecula, Murrieta, Jurupa Valley, Indio, Hemet, Perris, Palm Desert and Palm Springs. | San Bernardino County: San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Victorville, Rialto, Hesperia, Chino, Upland, Apple Valley and Redlands. | San Diego County: San Diego, Chula Vista, Oceanside, Escondido, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Vista, San Marcos, Encinitas and National City.

Disclaimer

This information does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for individual case consultation and research. No representations are made as to the accuracy of this information and appropriate legal counsel should be consulted before taking any actions.  Contact us for a consultation regarding your case to see if we are the best Medical Board of California license defense attorneys for you.

Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers award
US News & World Best Lawyer Rating
California Assault & Battery Attorney Awards: Findlaw 5 Star Rating, Google 5 Star Rating
Justia 10.0 Lawyer Rating