When a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional is arrested in Florida, the criminal case can have drastic consequences depending on the outcome. Your license can be denied or disqualified even if you plead no contest or adjudication is withheld. The law requires a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional to make a written report within 30 days after you have been convicted or enter a plea to a crime in any jurisdiction. Florida Statutes § 456.072(1)(x).
A doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional could be subject to discipline if you are convicted or found guilty of, regardless of adjudication to: a felony or any other crime involving moral turpitude, fraud, dishonesty, or deceit; a crime which relates to the practice of, or the ability to practice, a licensed health care profession; or a crime which relates to health care fraud even if the crime is a misdemeanor.
Discipline is especially harsh if a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional is charged with a felony involving Medicaid fraud (chapter 409), a felony violation of the Florida Fraudulent Practices Act (chapter 817), or a felony drug offense (chapter 893). The Florida Department of Health shall exclude you from licensure, examination, certification, or registration if you are convicted of or enter a plea to one these felonies, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. This prohibition applies unless you provide written proof that the case has been dismissed. If you have entered a plea or were convicted of these felonies, you are not eligible for licensure, examination, certification, or registration until: 5 years have passed from the end of probation for a third-degree felony for a drug related offense, 10 years have passed from the end of probation for a third-degree felony violation of chapter 409 or chapter 817, and 15 years from the end of probation for a first or second-degree felony violation of the chapters mentioned above.
The Florida Department of Health can similarly refuse to renew your license, certificate, or registration if you or any principal, officer, agent, managing employee, or affiliated person of the applicant entered a plea to or was convicted of felony under chapter 409 (Medicaid fraud), chapter 817 (Fraudulent Practices Act), or chapter 893 (drug offenses), or a similar felony offense committed in another state or jurisdiction. The same time periods apply.
If you are a doctor, nurse, or a healthcare professional that has been arrested for a criminal offense in Florida, early and aggressive representation is critical to protecting your medical license. Some of the possible defense goals would be to avoid a felony conviction, avoid any offenses that sound like “health fraud,” “Medicaid fraud” or “Medicare fraud,” attempt to obtain pre-trial diversion or pre-trial intervention, attempt to avoid having to enter a guilty plea or nolo plea, and immediately applying for sealing or expungment of the arrest/charge when all requirements of probation are met. Please contact our office today for a free consultation.