Unlicensed Healthcare Professional

Practicing, attempting to practice, or offering to practice a regulated profession in healthcare without a license is a fraudulent act for which a person may face severe criminal charges. From bogus doctors to massage therapists, people seeking quality treatment for a medical condition should be able to trust their healthcare providers. Lately, there have been many instances of police shutting down unlicensed healthcare operations in Orlando.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Orlando and Orange County are aggressively investigating and closing down a host of practitioners who have been posing as credible, licensed therapists. If you face charges for such an offense, having a skilled defense lawyer on your side can mean the difference between a bleak future and one that is full of hope.

What does it mean to practice healthcare without a license?

Florida law makes it a felony offense to practice, attempt to practice, or offer to practice a healthcare profession which requires a valid Florida license without possessing such a license. Practicing without a license also includes providing, attempting to provide, or offering services in a healthcare profession with a suspended, revoked, or void license.

Attempted Practice of a Healthcare Profession in Orlando

A person attempts to practice healthcare without a valid license when he or she applies for employment with a healthcare provider without a valid license to practice the chosen profession and fails to notify the employer of his or her lack of a valid Florida license.

Under Section 456.065 (2)(d) of the Florida Statutes, a person also attempts to practice healthcare without a license when he or she holds him or herself out as able to practice the healthcare profession despite not having a license.

Common Healthcare Professions that Require a Florida License

Healthcare careers are highly rewarding and in strong demand. Almost all jobs in the healthcare industry require a valid Florida license issued by the state Department of Health. Common professions include:

  • Dieticians and Nutritionists
  • Acupuncturists
  • Body Piercers
  • Nurses
  • Massage Therapists
  • Physical and Occupational Therapists
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Physical Therapy and Nursing Assistants
  • Athletic Trainers
  • X-ray Assistants
  • Physicians
  • Chiropractors and Chiropractic Assistants

The places of business that offer these services undergo regular inspections. When inspectors with the Department of Health find any criminal violations of Section 456.065, they must legally report them to the proper prosecuting authorities.

Penalties for Practicing Healthcare without a License

Practicing healthcare without a license is a serious charge you should discuss with an experienced attorney. The penalties you may face depend on the nature of the case. In Florida, the state imposes mandatory minimum penalties.

No Serious Bodily Injury to a Patient

An alleged incident of unlicensed practice of a healthcare profession that does not cause a serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony offense for which a person may face a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

A person who is convicted of this third-degree felony faces a mandatory sentence of at least one year in jail.

Delinquent License

It is a misdemeanor of the first degree to practice, attempt to practice, or offer to practice a health care profession with an inactive or delinquent license for any period of time up to 12 months.

However, practicing, attempting to practice, or offering to practice a health care profession when that person’s license has been inactive or delinquent for 12 or more months is a third-degree felony. The minimum penalty for violating this law is a term of imprisonment of 30 days and a $500 tine.

Serious Bodily Injury to a Patient

When serious bodily injury does occur, a person practicing healthcare without a license faces a second-degree felony charge with a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $15,000. The mandatory minimum sentence is one year in jail.

The prosecution must establish that the alleged unlawful practice of the healthcare profession caused the victim’s injury beyond a reasonable doubt.

Unlicensed Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a widely popular service in Orlando. Dozens of massage spas can be located in shopping centers throughout the city. Unfortunately, some of these businesses may not do their due diligence when hiring therapists. Unlicensed massage therapy services are among the most commonly-prosecuted cases of practicing healthcare without a license.

A massage therapist who is accused of working without a valid license may be able to work with a defense lawyer in Orlando to negotiate his or her charges to a misdemeanor charge of Practicing Massage Without a License. This is a first-degree misdemeanor described in §480.047(1)(a) of the Florida Statutes.

Though a first-degree misdemeanor is a serious charge, facing reduced charges can provide tremendous relief for a person who previously faced felony charges, especially when you consider that a misdemeanor charge will save you from facing mandatory minimum penalties and a felony record.

Contact a knowledgeable Orlando criminal attorney today to discuss your Unlicensed Practice of a Healthcare Profession charge. The retention of an attorney is critical to presenting the appropriate defense or negotiating for a lesser charge.

The attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience defending people all over central Florida who have faced misdemeanor and felony charges. We offer free consultations at any time of day. Call (407) 228-3838 or contact us.

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