Austin Marriage & Family Therapy Licensing Defense Attorneys
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is a massive agency that houses many regulatory divisions and professional boards, ranging from Athletic Trainers to X-ray Services. Marriage and family therapists who wish to excel in their field often pursue a license in order to stand out to employers and improve their ability to help their patients. However, any charge of professional impropriety could put your license and your career at risk.
If the Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists contacts you regarding any disciplinary matter, seemingly large or small, you may benefit from a free consultation with the Professional Marriage & Family Therapy License Defense Attorneys of the Leichter Law Firm PC, to determine whether your potential disciplinary proceeding requires the help of experienced counsel.
Accusations by the Board
The Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists has its own operating statutes passed by the State Legislature as well as its own Board rules. The Board’s statutes are found at Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 502, and their rules and regulations at Title 22, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 801. When the Board believes that a licensee has engaged in conduct prohibited by these statutes and rules, it initiates an investigation and affords the licensee the due process outlined under these same statutes. The types of conduct typically investigated range from relatively minor alleged violations to those that are much more serious, including:
- Maintaining a Dual Relationship
- Sexual Misconduct
- Failure to Keep Accurate Client Records
- Release of Confidential Client Information
- Practicing with an Expired License
- Unethical/Unprofessional Conduct
- Failure to Cooperate with Board
- Failure to Report Physical or Sexual Abuse
Any agency investigation is adversarial at its heart, and consequently any communication between licensees and Board staff could be, and often is, used against the licensee. The utmost care should be taken with any response to a request for information from the Board. This being said, hiring the experienced legal team at the Leichter Law Firm PC, to communicate on your behalf may be in your best interest.
The Legal Process
If the Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists contacts you, it is helpful to know and understand how the investigation came about and what will happen in the future.
The Board initiates investigations upon the receipt of a complaint from a client, law enforcement, third party, or sometimes even an anonymous source. The Executive Director will facilitate review and consideration of each complaint. If deemed jurisdictional, the Director will often notify the licensee that a complaint has been filed against them. The licensee has the opportunity to respond, but must provide client records and other relevant information for further investigation.
The Board’s investigative staff will collect and compile all of the information received about each complaint and use it to prepare an investigative summary about the case. The Executive Director then sends the case to be reviewed by the Ethics Committee.
The Ethics Committee then reviews the case. The licensee has the opportunity to address the Committee in public session and answer any questions the Committee may have. The committee will vote to either close the matter or, if they believe a violation has occurred, issue a Notice of Violation.
The Notice of Violation gives a brief account of the acts or omissions believed to constitute a violation and the specific Board statutes and rules transgressed. The Notice will also contain the Committee’s recommended discipline and give the licensee 15 days to either accept or reject the discipline. If rejected, the licensee may request an informal conference or a formal hearing.
The Board may deny, revoke, temporarily suspend, permanently suspend a license, or may probate disciplinary action, issue a reprimand, or impose an administrative penalty. The consequences of any such action can be devastating for a professional’s career.
Contact an Austin License Defense Attorney Today
If you or someone you know has been unjustly accused of violating the rules and regulations of the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, the experienced and resourceful legal team at the Leichter Law Firm PC, may be able to help you. Call our Austin offices at (512) 495-9995 to schedule a free consultation and explore your legal options.