These hearings are quasi-criminal in nature, similar to DMV hearings. When someone is licensed by the state in their profession, they can be sanctioned for misconduct or incompetence. There are times when these administrative hearings occur after criminal conviction and times without any relation to the criminal justice system.
Professions such as the practice of medicine, cosmetology, real estate, etc. are subject to these hearings. Hearings that come to the attention of the state administrative board as the result of criminal convictions are usually referred to the state board for further sanctions in their respective fields. These additional sanctions can include total revocation of one’s license to practice in the field of choice. The individual can be placed on probation and as a condition of probation he or she can be suspended for a period of time—months or years—with further conditions that must be lived up to before reinstatement, such as restitution to victims, going to approved alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation, taking psychiatric and professional examinations for competence, approved schooling, seminars, ethics classes, etc. Or, they can be placed on probation without suspension and required to comply with probationary terms. The cases that do not originate in the criminal justice system have similar sanctions.
Although one is not entitled to a jury trial in administrative hearings, every bit as much trial preparation for these hearings is essential, as many times we are dealing with expert witnesses and detailed investigation by the office of the attorney general. Unlike the DA’s office, these prosecutors take far fewer cases and are specially assigned. Our office is experienced and qualified in handling these hearings.
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