Today, we’re going to be talking a little bit about what goes on in investigations and who you should talk to about what’s going on in your professional license defense case.
So, the question really becomes, who do I talk to if I’m a licensed professional and I have a Board or State Agency complaint against me? The first person that you talk to is an attorney, whether it’s from North State Law or somebody else. I just want to make sure that you talk to an attorney, so you get good advice, and you don’t do something that’s going to severely damage your case in the long run.
There are some agencies and licensing boards that will require you to be available to speak with an investigator. That’s not all of them. That’s typically in the minority. That’s going to be a relatively low percentage, probably going to be about 25% to 30% of all state agencies and licensing boards that require you to be available to speak with an investigator with that Board or State Agency.
There could be particular situations where say there’s a criminal investigation that’s going on with the State Agency or Licensing Board case and say you’re required by statute or administrative code to speak with the investigator with the Board or State Agency. You may have to just say, you know what? I can’t do that. I have a criminal investigation going on in the same particular manner. I’m going to plead the fifth at the vice of my counsel, whoever that might end up being, we’ve decided X, Y, or Z. Because at the end of the day, you got to protect your individual freedom. If there’s a criminal case, the investigators for whatever Board or State Agency, they can provide whatever statements you give them to law enforcement or the District Attorney’s office as prosecuting your case. You’ve got to be very careful there.
Now, do you talk to anybody else? Can you talk to family members, friends, coworkers, whatever the case may be? I don’t think that that’s a good idea. And the reason being is, especially if it’s coworkers, they’re going to say whatever you told them to an investigator with the Board or State Agency. I almost guarantee it.
Family members, obviously you trust your family members, you trust your close friends. At the end of the day though, they do not have any sort of privilege not to tell a third party. You talk to an attorney that’s protected by the attorney-client privilege. We cannot discuss your case with a third party unless we have prior authorization to do so, and that’s got to be in writing and signed by the client and all that good stuff.
So, you’ve got to be really careful who you talk to about your case because that information can get back to an investigator with the Board or could get back to anybody with the Board, and then they’ll go through and be in the Investigator’s Report. So, you want to avoid all that stuff. So don’t really have loose lips when you’re talking about your case. Talk with your attorney about it. Maybe if you are going to therapy, talk with a licensed therapist or psychologist, and psychiatrist. They have certain confidentiality that prohibits them from disclosing that information to a third party as well. It’s not really a good idea to go be telling a bunch of people what’s going on in your business because that could severely hamper your case further down the road. You want to avoid doing that, right?