Nurses Charged with a Crime

Nurses Charged with a CrimeThe lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are adept in counseling nurses and healthcare professionals who face legal trouble throughout the state of Florida. We also advocate for nurses charged with or under investigation for a criminal offense across the Greater Orlando area.

If your nursing career is at stake due to a crime or criminal investigation, then call an Orlando criminal defense lawyer who can advise you on how to resolve the criminal accusation while you defend your capacity to work as a licensed medical professional. In especially severe cases, our lawyers can help you find the proper regulatory authorities, employers, and insurance plans as you work to settle any disciplinary actions.

At The Umansky Law Firm, our medical license defense lawyers understand the sacrifices and commitments nurses make each day in this field. Our lawyers can defend you during this difficult time and work vigorously to protect your hard-earned nursing license.

Potential Legal Difficulties When a Nurse Is Under Criminal Investigation

When a Florida nurse or medical professional is under criminal investigation, various legal concerns may include:

  • Safeguarding their professional licenses
  • Obtaining the most acceptable counseling alternatives that satisfy the standards of the Intervention Project for Nurses or the Professional Resource Network
  • Determining whether to self-report the case to the Intervention Project for Nurses or the Professional Resource Network

Stay Silent Regarding the Criminal Accusation

If you are a nurse who’s been arrested or under criminal investigation, it’s imperative to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer without delay.

Do not make statements regarding any crime to colleagues, law enforcement, or an investigator with the Department of Health (DOH) until you’ve spoken with your lawyer. Invoking your right to remain silent or consulting an attorney will not negatively impact your criminal case. However, the prosecution will hold anything you say against you, so it’s always best to stay silent.

By hiring a criminal defense lawyer, they can provide information to the investigator that’s advantageous to your case. Speak with a lawyer to get individual advice in connection with your particular circumstances before making any statements concerning your case.

Choose Between a Formal or Informal Hearing

If you are under an investigation with the Florida DOH, you may have to choose between a Formal or an Informal Hearing. Electing to have an Informal Hearing indicates that you acknowledge specific facts in the Administrative Complaint regarding your criminal allegation. If you attend an Informal Hearing, you are only permitted to debate the extent of discipline that should be enforced, not that the accusations are untrue.

For the following reasons, the effects of a nurse or medical professional charged with a crime can be devastating even if they ultimately avert a conviction:

  • Any healthcare professional who pleads guilty or no contest must report the crime to the Florida DOH. Neglecting to do so by a specific deadline can lead to disciplinary actions.
  • The DOH considers a guilty plea the same as a no-contest (nolo contendere) plea.
  • The DOH considers a “withhold of adjudication” equal to a conviction.
  • Per Florida Statute Section 456.072(1) and Section 456.074(1), any plea to certain criminal offenses may result in an automatic suspension or bar to any renewal of a nursing or healthcare professional’s license.

Suppose you’re a Florida nurse charged with a crime. In that case, you must answer the accusations in criminal court and address the administrative procedure that could lead to the revocation or loss of your nursing license.

Do Florida Nurses Have to Report a Criminal Conviction If Adjudication Is Withheld?

According to Florida Statutes Section 456.072, a nurse must report any criminal conviction, even if adjudication is withheld, within 30 days of the guilty or nolo contendere plea to a crime, regardless of adjudication.

If you’re a licensed Florida nurse or you plan on applying for your nursing license, you must reveal any criminal conviction to the Board of Nursing. Whether it’s a charge for reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, or a DUI, you must notify the Board of Nursing. Minor traffic infractions like speeding, however, do not need to be reported.

Neglecting to report the conviction to the Board of Nursing can result in even more significant problems. When you apply for or renew your license, the Nursing Board performs a background check where they’ll discover any criminal record, whether disclosed or not.

Protect Your Nursing Profession by Calling The Umansky Law Firm

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime as a licensed nurse in Florida, contact The Umansky Law Firm immediately to retain experienced and skilled advocacy for your professional reputation and future. As seasoned trial attorneys, we can help you develop a robust defense against both the criminal and administrative proceedings you may face ahead.

The Umansky Law Firm attorneys include former prosecutors and effective defense attorneys, and some have formerly worked with the Department of Health and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Combined with our criminal defense experience, that background makes our lawyers a formidable opponent to any criminal prosecution or administrative action involving your nursing license.

To speak with a knowledgeable medical license defense attorney over a free consultation, complete an online contact form or call us at (407) 228-3838.