Administrative hearings are quasi-criminal in nature, including DMV hearings. When someone is licensed by the state in their profession, they can be sanctioned for misconduct or incompetence. There are situations when these administrative hearings occur after criminal conviction and other scenarios without any relation to the criminal justice system.
Professions such as the practice of law, medicine, cosmetology, nursing, real estate, and others 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 also 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 satisfied 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 and others. Conversely, the practitioner 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, they are still afforded a due process and an evidentiary hearing. Extensive trial preparation for these hearings is essential, as many times the practitioner must deal with expert witnesses and detailed investigation by law enforcement and the Attorney General. Unlike the District Attorney’s office, these administrative prosecutors take on far fewer cases and are specially assigned. Our office is experienced and qualified in handling these hearings.