Florida Lab Technician Defense Attorney

Are you a licensed Florida lab technician who’s subject to an Administrative Complaint from the Department of Health (DOH)? Are you worried about what you should do next and whether this will impact your family and career? Complaints against licensed lab technicians or any licensed professional in Florida may lead to severe penalties that may include fines, a limitation of services, a suspension of license, or, at worst, a revocation of license.

Losing your professional license can dramatically limit your ability to earn a living at the same capacity and take care of your loved ones. No matter how insignificant the complaint may seem, do not delay in securing experienced legal representation so you can respond effectively and move forward in your career. If you’re a licensed lab technician facing an Administrative Complaint, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious and concerned. However, with a seasoned professional license defense attorney’s counsel and advocacy defending your good name and reputation, you can have a favorable chance of resolving the complaint without your professional reputation suffering.

What Is the Role of Lab Technicians?

Medical and clinical lab technicians in Florida may work independently or under clinical laboratory scientists or medical technologists’ guidance in a laboratory or field setting. In this role, lab technicians often conduct scientific experiments under well-defined conditions to confirm or reject different hypotheses employing advanced scientific methods. Lab technicians have many responsibilities that include scientific experiments as well as:

  • Recording and storing vital data
  • Receiving, labeling, and analyzing samples of blood, tissue, toxin, or other materials
  • Designing and implementing laboratory testing according to standard procedures
  • Safeguarding the precision and efficiency of scientific experiments
  • Maintaining and organizing lab tools and equipment

Lab technicians may work in various scientific research and development fields, including areas of chemistry, biology, manufacturing, cosmetics, and pharmacology.

Why Must Lab Technicians Hold a Valid License?

Clinical and medical lab technicians must have a valid license to work in this profession in Florida. This license protects the public from using or consuming unsafe prescription drugs, treatments, food, and products created from inaccurate or flawed data, which could result in devastating health consequences for Florida communities. Having a valid Florida clinical laboratory personnel technician license validates that you have the necessary education, experience, and expertise to work in the scientific fields of research and development that ultimately improve society.

Who Licenses Lab Technicians in Florida?

The Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel is responsible for licensing lab technicians. The Board is a division under the Florida DOH that handles examinations and disciplinary actions against licensed technicians. To obtain licensure in Florida, applicants must demonstrate knowledge and education in clinical laboratory science, generally emphasizing biology, microbiology, and organic chemistry, and pass the licensing exam with the Board.

Can Complaints Against Lab Technicians Result in Disciplinary Action?

Clinical lab technicians in Florida may face disciplinary action from complaints related to unethical and dishonest practices that could potentially have devastating consequences on public health. Grounds for disciplinary actions against a lab technician are defined under Florida Statute 483.825 and include complaints related to:

  • Conviction of a crime that relates to their profession
  • Using drugs, alcohol, or being impaired from drugs while performing or reporting lab examinations
  • Engaging in any clinical laboratory procedure not authorized per their license
  • Demonstrating incompetence or making regular errors in the performance of clinical lab examinations or procedures
  • Knowingly or negligently making or filing a false or inaccurate report
  • Performing tests and writing reports to unauthorized persons
  • Paying or receiving bribes or engaging in any split-fee arrangement in any form with a physician, organization, agency, or person
  • Exercising influence on a patient or client to exploit them for financial gain, including promoting, selling, or withholding services, goods, referrals, or drugs
  • Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope of what their license permits by Florida law
  • Misrepresenting or concealing facts while attainting licensure
  • Engaging in or attempting to engage in sexual misconduct with a patient, colleague, superior, patient, student, or instructor

How Are Complaints Submitted Against Florida Lab Technicians?

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) performs investigative and prosecutorial tasks involving licensed Florida lab technicians. Should a patient, client, colleague, competitor, or anyone in the general public wish to file a complaint regarding a lab technician’s unlawful conduct, they would do so through the Florida Health Care Complaint Portal.

What Is the Complaint Process Like in Florida?

After a complaint is submitted against a medical or clinical lab technician, the Investigative Services Unit (ISU) begins an investigation into the complaint. The investigation steps include collecting sufficient information to determine whether the complaint should move forward to the next step.

Information gathered during an investigation generally includes:

  • Interviewing complainants, patients, and any witnesses
  • Interviewing the subject of the complaint
  • Serving subpoenas for the required information
  • Recording sworn statements
  • Obtaining medical records and documented evidence
  • Readying reports

Usually, the investigator will contact you to talk about the complaint. As a professional lab technician, you must not disregard the complaint filed against you nor the investigator’s invitation to discuss the allegation. However, it’s critical that you contact a seasoned attorney as soon as possible before meeting with the investigator. Partnering with Florida will enable you to develop a comprehensive and robust response to the investigation procedure.

A knowledgeable defense lawyer may even end the investigation before additional measures are taken. The investigation is confidential at this point, so your professional reputation and business practices may not be jeopardized.

The Probable Cause Panel Reviews the Complaint

If the investigation procures enough evidence to move the complaint to the next step, the complaint will be assessed by a Probable Cause Panel. That will typically involve members of the Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel, often one or two licensed health care professionals, and a consumer member.

During this process, it is imperative that you have your defense attorney with you and not try to manage the case on your own.

The panel review may lead to three possible outcomes:

  • Finding “no probable cause”
  • Issuing a “letter of guidance”
  • Issuing a formal Administrative Complaint

A finding of “no probable cause” is a dismissal of the case, called Closing Order. This means there was not enough evidence to support the claim that you breached any rule or regulation. A “letter of guidance” is not a disciplinary action, but it’s issued when the panel finds that a minor violation did occur. The worst-case outcome is when a formal Administrative Complaint is issued against you.

Process of Administrative Complaint

When an Administrative Complaint is filed against you, it describes the evidence against you uncovered during the inquiry, along with the particular laws or regulations that you’re accused of violating. At this time, the complaint becomes public record. Even if the claim is thrown out, your reputation as a qualified medical or clinical lab technician could be damaged. After consulting with your attorney, you can decide whether you want to attend an Informal Hearing or Formal Hearing.

Informal Hearing

If you choose to continue with an Informal Hearing, you do not intend to dispute any of the accusations made against you, nor do you want to reveal new evidence. Instead, you’re accepting the claims, and you’ll face the Florida DOH, where they’ll make a final decision on penalties that will be imposed against you.

Formal Hearing

If you want to dispute the allegations and evidence against you during the investigation, you continue with a Formal Hearing. This hearing is before Florida’s Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) and is chaired by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ hears the evidence from both sides and makes a final Recommended Order to the DOH, where a final decision regarding disciplinary actions will be made.

You can appeal the decision by filing a petition for judicial review if your technician’s license is suspended or withdrawn. Your attorney is your most valued advocate as you go through this process—always seek advice from them before making a final decision.

How Can a Professional License Defense Attorney Help?

At The Umansky Law Firm, our professional license defense team thoroughly examines every case we take to find the pertinent facts and the most effective way to defend your Florida lab technician license. Sometimes, complaints against lab technicians can be prosecuted in criminal court and they can face criminal charges. Having an experienced criminal lawyer who handles professional license defense is a top priority.

Umansky lawyers can help you in numerous ways, including:

  • Review the complaint against you and build a defense by securing evidence, documents, and witnesses that help you
  • Prevent you from incriminating yourself as you defend against the claims
  • Defend against possible criminal charges that could arise from the complaint
  • Determine the motive or bias of the person who made the complaint against you
  • Help you respond to the Probable Cause Investigation by securing documents, witnesses, and other methods for determining there is no probable cause for the complaint
  • Attempt to have the complaint dismissed by the Probable Cause Panel
  • Argue that a guidance letter is better than a prosecution
  • Lessen any potential punishments the Florida DOH may want to take
  • Present evidence, witnesses, and cross-examine state’s witnesses at a formal review hearing
  • Dispute the findings at an informal review hearing
  • Appeal the hearing

Contact Seasoned Florida Professional License Defense Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you have been alleged of committing an act where the Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel may revoke or suspend your license, contact The Umansky Law Firm to defend you in the administrative action. As accomplished trial attorneys, we can help you build a strong defense against the allegations you face that may include the outright dismissal of the complaint or claim lodged against you. Our criminal defense experience includes government agencies, fraud, and a plethora of criminal and administrative cases. We are well-qualified and ready to defend you in the administrative action to help prevent your license suspension and criminal prosecution.

The Umansky Law Firm team of attorneys includes former prosecutors, defense lawyers, and some with experience working directly with the Department of Health. To speak with an administrative lawyer today about your Florida lab technician license, complete an online contact form or call at (407) 228-3838.