Hearings At The Utah Division of Professional & Occupational Licensing
Under Utah law, licensed professionals can face a variety of consequences after allegations of criminal conduct. Government prosecutors can pursue a criminal case that could result in penalties like prison sentences and fines. Private individuals can seek financial damages in civil court, especially in cases involving professional mistakes or accidents.
While these consequences are certainly serious, a third category is problematic in another way. The Utah Division of Professional & Occupational Licensing is responsible for monitoring most licensed professionals in the state. One of its most central functions is to conduct hearings regarding whether to punish a licensed professional based on criminal allegations.
No matter the circumstances of an individual case, the experienced defense lawyers at Greg Smith & Associates can help navigate the licensing hearing process.
What Happens At A UDPOL Hearing?
Although there are some similarities between licensing review hearings and criminal cases, the differences are just as important and potentially even more professionally damaging.
Like other court cases, the hearing will look at evidence from a range of sources. In its initial notification to the licensed professional who faces review, the panel will provide a list of documents that it will require. Defendants can expect to be required to submit an account of what happened and any documents that can support that explanation of the facts.
At the hearing itself, the government will present witnesses to provide further testimony against the professional. The professional will have an opportunity to question those witnesses and can call more witnesses on his or her behalf.
Most significantly, the panel will question the professional in depth about the government’s allegations. This questioning is often an unpleasant experience for many professionals.
When the panel has reviewed all of this evidence, it will issue its decision. Unlike a criminal court, the panel does not have to decide that the licensed professional committed misconduct “beyond a reasonable doubt” before imposing punishment. Instead, the panel has wide discretion to choose whatever punishment it considers appropriate. This means that defendants have significantly less protection in these hearings than they would in a criminal trial.
What Penalties Can The UDPOL Impose?
Licensing review authorities can choose from a number of punishments, including:
- Probation, usually based on strict conditions.
- License suspension for a significant but temporary period of time.
- License revocation – although professionals can often reapply for a new license, the UDPOL often imposes a significant period of waiting time.
Any of these penalties can have significant consequences for a Utah professional’s career and future prospects – it is important to fight any allegations of misconduct.
The legal team at Greg Smith and Associates can help you navigate the often complicated professional licensing defense process. Our entire legal team will help make sure that your criminal charges have as little impact on your professional life as possible.
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If you are facing a professional licensing review board, you have the right seek an experienced and effective advocate. At Greg Smith & Associates, our lawyers have a proven track record of success – we have handled numerous cases before review boards in a wide variety of contexts.
To speak with an experienced defense lawyer, contact Greg Smith & Associates for a free consultation by contacting us online or calling our Salt Lake City office at 801-651-1512.