Criminal Offenses Can Prevent You from Practicing Medicine in Florida
In Florida, healthcare professionals who are convicted of crimes can lose their licenses to practice medicine. In accordance with Florida law, healthcare providers who are convicted, have pled guilty, or pled no contest to certain criminal charges can have their license taken away by the Department of Health. If you are a healthcare professional who falls into one of these scenarios, it’s essential to seek legal counsel to protect your career and rights. Here is some important information to know on how criminal offenses can prevent you from practicing medicine in Florida.
Crimes That Could Cause You to Lose Your Medical License in Florida
In accordance with Florida’s Health Care Fraud Statutes, medical professionals can be refused their license if they meet the following conditions:
- You have engaged in healthcare fraud in your practice area
- You have been convicted of, entered a guilty plea, or plea of no contest—regardless of adjudication—to a felony under the following of Florida’s statutes: 801-970 and 1395-1396. The only exception applies to individuals whose sentence or probation for their conviction or plea ended over 15 years before a party applies to have their licenses terminated.
- You have lost your eligibility for the Florida Medicaid program. The one exception applies to individuals who have been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for at least 5 years from an application filing date.
- You have been convicted of, entered a plea of guilty, or plea of no contest—regardless of adjudication under any of the qualifying acts: Medicaid Fraud Act, Fraudulent Practices Act, or Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Act.
These describe some of the most common scenarios in which a healthcare professional could have their license terminated. Unfortunately, Florida’s healthcare fraud statutes can negatively affect healthcare professionals, as, due to poor legal advice, many of them can plead no guilty or no contest to crimes they didn’t commit or were wrongfully convicted of. However, every case is unique, which is why it’s essential to have a trusted attorney on your side.
What to Do If Your Medical License Is in Jeopardy
While cases involving medical license suspensions can be complex, there are some strategies for protecting your license. These include:
- Attempting to have the criminal charges dropped. You can work with your lawyer to see if this is a viable strategy for your situation. If after assessing your case your lawyer thinks there is a basis for getting the charges dropped, you can pursue this route. If your charges are dropped, your license will not be affected.
- Seeing if you are eligible for a pre-trial intervention agreement. Pre-trial intervention agreements essentially involve paying certain fines or costs and usually completing a class or set amount of community service in exchange for having the prosecutor drop the charges.
- Bring the case to court. Depending on the factors surrounding your case, it may be in your best interest to bring your case to court. However, this is typically a riskier route, as juries can arrive at a guilty conviction even if you are innocent.
- Negotiate with the prosecutor to enter a plea bargain for an offense that does not affect your license. You may be able to convince the prosecutor to reduce your charges to a crime that is not on the list of offenses that cause license suspension.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the best strategy for your case is to consult a skilled attorney. An experienced lawyer can look at all the factors surrounding your situation and advise you on the best options for your case.
Consult a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Central Florida
If you have been charged with a crime that could put your medical license and career at risk, it’s essential to seek legal counsel from a skilled criminal defense lawyer. At the Umansky Law Firm, we believe everyone has the right to a strong defense. We work tirelessly to ensure our client’s side of the story is told to the court.
Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience in criminal law. We work closely with our clients and communicate with them through every stage of the legal process. To schedule a free consultation, call our office or complete an online contact form for a free consultation.