This is the next post in my series discussing issues which arise when a Registered Nurse or Certified Nursing Assistant is forced to defend their Arizona license at a disciplinary hearing. My last post discussed steps a nurse can take to defend their license. It is important to understand what tools are and are not available in preparing a case. In this post I will look at another important topic – defending your license against allegations of drug abuse or criminal charges. I cannot stress enough the fact that if you find yourself in such a situation then your ability to earn a living is at risk and you should contact a Phoenix licensing lawyer as soon as possible.
One of the most common complaints nurses face are those stemming from drug-related issues. For obvious reasons those in the medical profession have easy access to pain medications and can often find themselves addicted to pills. If you find yourself in this situation then you have options. First, if you are already in a drug treatment program, or are taking steps to stop your habit, then you may be protected under the American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA). While illegal drug use is not considered a “disability” it does protect those who are actively treating their addiction. Demonstrating that you are in a program can prevent the State Board of Nursing from suspending you. Even if you are not in a treatment program currently, an attorney may be able to reach a resolution on your behalf whereby you save your license in exchange for entering a treatment program.
Another common issue which nurses must defend their licenses against are misdemeanor charges. Being charged with a crime will often, and quickly, lead to a disciplinary hearing. The best way to handle such a situation is to successfully defend against the criminal charges. It is, therefore, crucial that you hire an attorney who practices both criminal law and professional licensing defense. Unfortunately there are instances in which nurses retain an attorney for their criminal charge who do not understand that the case also has a licensing aspect. As a result nurses sometimes take plea agreements which, while resolving the criminal case and keeping the person out of jail, have serious consequences for a nursing license. By hiring counsel who can handle all aspects of your situation you help to ensure that your interests are protected in all aspects.
As a Phoenix nursing license defense attorney and criminal defense lawyer I am able to assist those who have a career in jeopardy due to criminal charges. I will use your initial consultation to gain an understanding of what happened and to begin formulating a defense against both your criminal charges and the nursing board. Do not risk your future to an attorney who only practices in one of these areas. Call my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I also handle such matters in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert. We also assist Pima County residents in Tucson.