Anyone charged with or arrested for a crime can face serious consequences. However, for Florida nurses, those consequences can be particularly harsh, including mandated substance abuse treatment, strict supervision, and loss of your nursing license.
Navigating the laws and rules applicable to the practice of nursing in Florida and responding appropriately to Board of Nursing and Department of Health investigations can be daunting tasks. If you face allegations or criminal charges on your own, or with only the help of an attorney without expertise in healthcare law, you could be risking your career and your future.
For the best possible outcome, you need an attorney who has the knowledge, skill and experience to protect your rights and your license and defend you successfully in court, if necessary. When you’re facing civil, criminal and/or administrative actions, you need an experienced defense attorney who knows healthcare law and is on top of changes in the laws and regulations governing the nursing profession.
An Experienced Florida Healthcare Defense Attorney for Nurses Can Provide Immediate Help
Healthcare law is complex and specialized, so attorneys who do not focus their practice on this type of law are typically not prepared to represent nurses. Even experienced defense lawyers will need time to familiarize themselves with the legal and administrative issues involved in a case, whereas a lawyer who specializes in healthcare law can get to work immediately, developing a comprehensive defense strategy.
Under the Florida Nurse Practices Act (Florida Statutes Sections 464.017 and 464.018), numerous offenses are grounds for disciplinary action, including:
- Sexual misconduct
- Using bribery, misrepresentation or an error of the Board to obtain, attempt to obtain or renew a nursing license
- Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of nursing or to the ability to practice nursing
Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, any of the following offenses:
- Theft and robbery
- Fraudulent practices
- Lewdness, indecent exposure
- Assault, battery, and culpable negligence
- Child abuse, abandonment, and neglect
- Abuse, neglect, and exploitation
- Domestic violence
- Unauthorized possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances
Non-criminal bases for disciplinary action include:
- Making or filing a false report or record
- False, misleading, or deceptive advertising
- Unprofessional conduct: Inaccurate reporting, misappropriation of supplies or equipment, leaving a nursing assignment without advising other licensed nursing personnel, delinquent nursing license (not to exceed 90 days), or acts of negligence
- Continuing to practice nursing despite being unable to do so because of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, or chemicals or any other type of material or as a result of any mental or physical condition
- Failing to report impaired licensees who are unable to practice to the Board of Nursing
- Failing to report a licensee who has violated grounds for disciplinary action
- Failing to meet minimal standards of care
In some cases, an experienced healthcare defense attorney may even be able to prevent charges from being filed. With knowledge of investigative procedures, an experienced attorney can help you prepare for investigations and challenge potential allegations before charges are filed. Furthermore, by intervening early in an investigation, he will have a head start on preparing a strong defense if the investigation is continued and charges are filed.
An Experienced Florida Healthcare Defense Attorney for Nurses Can Defend You Successfully
Another reason to retain a Florida defense attorney with expertise in healthcare law is the contextual understanding he has of the impact even unproven allegations can have on your nursing practice and career. Knowing how investigations and allegations can affect your future, a qualified attorney will work diligently to obtain a discrete and favorable outcome.
A qualified healthcare defense attorney will also be thoroughly prepared with a strong defense if your case goes to trial. His knowledge and experience in both criminal and health care law will help you fight DUI, assault, drug distribution and any other charges that can threaten your nursing license.
A Skilled Healthcare Attorney Can Protect Your Nursing License and Career
Finally, with an experienced healthcare defense attorney advocating for you, you won’t have to search for another attorney to help defend your nursing license or mitigate other potential negative consequences of criminal allegations, investigations, and convictions. Your Florida nursing license defense attorney will know the specific details of your case and be well equipped to fight to protect your license and your career.
Your attorney will understand the Florida Board of Nursing’s administrative processes and be able to put his knowledge, experience and skills to work protecting you and advocating on your behalf. Dealing with administrative issues with the Board of Nursing and Department of Health can be very time-consuming and intense, and nursing licenses can be suspended for numerous reasons. Fortunately, a knowledgeable healthcare defense attorney can help prevent this from happening or work to get your license reinstated if it has been suspended.
If you are facing allegations of, or have been charged with, a criminal offense, make sure you get the help you need from an experienced Florida healthcare defense attorney. Contact Attorney Jonathan Rose as soon as possible. He understands the complexities nurses face and will provide powerful defense strategies to fight against criminal allegations and protect your nursing license and career.
The 2020 Florida Statutes. Title XXXII. Chapter 464.
Toney-Butler, T. J., & Martin, R. L. (2020, Jan.) Florida Nurse Practice Act laws and rules. StatPearls Publishing.