Protecting Your Medical License Against Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence is one of the many crimes the California Medical Board investigates despite the fact there does not appear to be a nexus between the arrest and with practicing medicine safely. Penal Code Section 273.5(a) is the code section often charged as a result of domestic violence. PC 273.5(a) is a felony punishable up to four years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $6,000. PC 273.5(a) is defined as the willful infliction of a corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim who is a current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, current or former partner in a dating relationship, parent of aggressors child. Traumatic condition is defined as a condition of the body, such as a wound, or external or internal injury, including, but not limited to, injury as a result of strangulation or suffocation, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical force.
Keeping in mind all California physicians have their fingerprint records on file with the California Department of Justice, each arrest for domestic violence is an automatic alert to the Medical Board of California. As a result, the board's investigators routinely get a copy of the police report and set up an interview. While a physician may think the communication from the board is easily handled, the opposite is, in fact, the case more often than not.
When you are faced with this difficult situation, let our Irvine domestic violence attorney help you. Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Pilchman & Kay, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (949) 558-0042.
How the Medical Board Will Handle Your Case
While it is common for the reporting party in a domestic violence case to recant their story, a physician cannot rely on this fact. Physical marks on the body including red marks, cuts and bruises, 911 dispatch logs and eyewitness statements are ways in which domestic violence cases are proven. The fact that the victim recanted will be expected and easily explained to any potential jury or administrative law judge. The prosecuting attorney may simply argue the physician is the breadwinner in the relationship and if they are subjected to criminal and administrative action, it could impact the financial security of the family.
The board will also look into what secondary issues may be at play causing the physician to act out violently or aggressively:
- Was there alcohol or drugs involved in the incident?
- Does the physician suffer from substance abuse addiction?
- Does the physician have an anger management issue?
These questions are all posed and answered to establish whether the public safety is at risk by allowing this physician to continue practicing. If the answer to these questions is “no”, future board action is not likely. If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then the chances of board action is likely.
Consequences for Domestic Violence Arrests & Convictions
California physicians who have administrative action and/or criminal convictions face significant consequences.
For criminal matters, a physician faces the following consequences:
- Mandatory counseling
- Fines and fees
For administrative action, a physician faces public notification via an accusation on the MBC website, administrative hearing, terms and conditions of probation, notification to hospitals, insurance companies, and states where licensed. Clearly, there are major consequences personally and professionally when a person is arrested for domestic violence while also holding a medical license.
Consult With a Skilled Attorney as Soon as You Can
At the Law Office of Pilchman & Kay, A Professional Law Corporation, our firm is fully prepared and equipped to defend all physicians against allegations of domestic violence in criminal court and administrative hearings. We work with the best and brightest investigators who are all former federal and state agents. We have the best team of forensic specialists, including a crisis management team. We have close working relationships with state and federal prosecutors and deputy attorney generals.
If you want the most aggressive criminal defense attorneys in Irvine, schedule a free consultation with our firm at (949) 558-0042.