If you are in a profession that requires a license in order to make a living in that profession, you hope that your license is never called into question. If it is, you should handle the situation with a better-safe-than-sorry approach. For example, even if you are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, we don’t recommend openly answering all questions you are asked.
The State of Illinois regulates professional licenses through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). This agency has the power to investigate claims against you. If an investigator contacts you, they may not say that you’re under investigation. They might play it off like it’s no big deal, which might not be the case. Don’t answer any questions, hand over any documents or attempt to defend yourself on the fly.
Hiring an attorney is not just for the guilty. In fact, it can be necessary to hire an attorney in order to understand the process and your rights. Perhaps most importantly, an experienced attorney has seen many professional license investigations in Illinois and can tell you what to expect. They’ll also know how best to defend you. Look for an attorney who has handled similar license defense cases in the past and done so successfully.
Whether you’re a mortgage broker or a doctor, your license is necessary to your ability to make a living and succeed in your career. Violations can be anything from practicing without a valid license, to unprofessional conduct. The IDFPR can suspend your license and even revoke it. Fines, probation and reprimand are other potential outcomes.
Written by Michael Helfand