Virginia Optometry License Defense Lawyer

As an optometrist, you have spent years working and learning to perfect your skills. Your occupation is challenging and requires a level of specialization few obtain. A single allegation of wrongdoing could take it all away in the blink of an eye.

If you are facing discipline from the Virginia Board of Optometry, you are entitled to guidance from a dedicated attorney. The threat of discipline is serious, but it is possible to fight back against these administrative proceedings. With a Virginia optometry license defense lawyer, you could see the claims against you dismissed by the Board.

The Complaint Process

The Virginia Board of Optometry is in charge of licensing and discipline of certified optometrists within the Commonwealth. This six-person board makes all final decisions regarding a person’s ability to obtain a license. The Board works within the Virginia Department of Health Professions, however, this means that all formal complaints are received by the Enforcement Division within the department.

The Enforcement Division accepts complaints from patients, vendors, landlords, and even from anonymous sources. They are tasked with investigating each case thoroughly, which could involve speaking directly with witnesses. At the close of the investigation, the Enforcement Division forwards all pertinent information to the Board of Optometry.

Ultimately, the Board will decide on what disciplinary measures to take, if any. Anyone facing discipline is entitled to engage a Virginia attorney to guide their optometry license defense.

Grounds for Suspension or Revocation

There are written guidelines regarding the behavior of licensed optometrists. The failure to comply with these guidelines could be grounds for a suspension or revocation of an optometry license. Not all of these grounds are criminal offenses. In fact, most of them have more to do with ethical concerns. Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3215 highlights these potential violations.

Many of the potential violations involve making use of a person not licensed to practice to do the work of an optometrist. Aiding a person in practicing without a license or allowing an unlicensed person to handle the key aspects of an optometry practice are grounds for discipline.

Other regulations are ethical. They bar an optometrist from the use of fraud or deceit in their practice. This could include anything from false advertising to tricking a patient into services they do not need.

One of the most important areas of regulation relates to the patient’s health. Optometrists may not take any action that endangers the health and welfare of a patient. This includes the use of drugs or alcohol to the degree it renders them unsafe.

Criminal Convictions and their Effect on a License

Criminal convictions are one of the primary ways a person could face potential suspension or revocation of their optometry license. The Board is typically aware of these convictions right away thanks to a provision of state law. Code of Virginia 54.1-3206 requires all court clerks to report criminal convictions of licensed optometrists to the Board. A felony or a misdemeanor that involves a crime of moral turpitude could lead to the loss of a license. In these cases, a Virginia attorney could assist in developing a strong defense of an optometry license.

Work with a Virginia Optometry License Defense Attorney

Any action taken against you by the Board of Optometry could have a negative impact on your career. While a suspension or revocation can directly hamper your practice, even a written warning could impact your business.

A Virginia optometry license defense lawyer could provide you with the guidance you need to protect your license. To learn more, schedule an initial consultation right away.