“You need a defense attorney who can craft a settlement that best positions you to keep your license…”
Our families, our businesses, our careers. They represent the best in us. They are our mark on the world. You’d do anything to protect them. Because you take good care of your family, because you run your business or serve your clients with care and competency, you assume that when investigators come calling it’s just a misunderstanding. Surely they will see it your way. Your false sense of security is reinforced when the investigator invites you to an “informal” meeting. You don’t even consider that you might need an attorney until you show up at the meeting, see the tape recorder on the table and meet, not one, but an entire team of investigators.
Whether you’ve received a cease-and-desist order from a regulatory agency, been served with a protective order alleging family violence, or face investigation related to a professional license, you should never sign anything or hand over information without consulting an attorney first. The simple fact that an investigation has been opened indicates how seriously the agency is taking the complaint. Having an attorney present at all meetings with the agency reduces the chance that your comments may be misinterpreted.
In situations where criminal charges are possible, these civil cases are almost a gift. They allow us any early glimpse into what will become the prosecution’s case. Because the rules of discovery are different in civil courts, we may get more information than the prosecution is obligated to share, and we may get access to information earlier than the prosecution is required to disclose it through the criminal process. Civil and Administrative hearings offer the opportunity to cross-examine government witnesses and lock their stories in long before a criminal trial occurs. Sometimes an aggressive defense or a well-crafted settlement on the civil side is enough to stave off criminal charges altogether.
In professional license defense cases, sometimes the criminal case is what gives rise to the attack on your license. It is important to remember that, due to differing burdens of proof, a victory on the criminal side does not guarantee victory in keeping your license. And let’s face it, not every criminal case is a winner. In those circumstances, you need a defense attorney who can craft a settlement that best positions you to keep your license.