How do I defend an accusation against my …


How do I defend an accusation against my California Dental Board license?


The Investigation

The California Dental Board licenses dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. Before the dental board moves to discipline, suspend, or revoke one of these professional dental licenses, they conduct an administrative investigation, which usually involves asking the licensee to make a written statement, and can also involve an in-person interview by an investigator from the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

Sometimes the investigation can involve a related case pending in the criminal courts. Other times statements made during the investigation, though administrative in nature, can potentially result in associated civil or criminal liability. Dental professionals who make statements during an investigation without first consulting with a license defense attorney can severely damage their cases.

The best time to hire a dental board defense lawyer is during the investigative phase because the greatest possibility of steering the case to a favorable outcome can often be achieved during the investigation. To hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to represent you anywhere in California in your dental board investigation, call 1-800-456-3767, or visit

The Accusation

When the California Dental Board determines from its investigation that public reproval, discipline, suspension or revocation of a dental license is warranted, it issues a charging document known as an "accusation." The accusation sets forth all of the factual allegations forming the basis for the adverse license action and also the sections of the California Dental Practice Act alleged to be violated.

The Dental Practice Act is contained in California Business and Professions Code Section 1600 through 1976.

Temporary Suspension Order

In more serious dental license cases, the dental board will obtain a temporary suspension order or "TSO" in connection with the accusation. If you are faced with a temporary suspension order by the dental board, call Rose Law at 1-800-456-3767. We have defended dental professionals and other healthcare licensees everywhere in California since 2004.

Notice of Defense

As soon as the accusation is served on the licensee, a short deadline to respond is triggered. The quality and timeliness of the response, usually in the form of a "notice of defense" accompanied by appropriate legal objections to the accusation, are critical to the ultimate success in the case. If a California Dental Board licensed dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant receives an accusation, they should immediately consult with a knowledgeable dental board defense lawyer at 1-800-456-3767.

The dental board will usually include a simple "notice of defense" form that the dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant can complete and return to request an administrative hearing. Be careful! Many dental professionals mistakenly believe that filling out this simple form and returning is everything they can do to protect themselves at this stage of the proceedings! A more comprehensive attorney-drafted notice of defense should also be filed and served, appropriate legal objections should be lodged, a request for discovery of relevant evidence should be made, any request for discovery made by the dental board's attorney should be responded to, appropriate legal privileges to the production of evidence should be preserved, settlement discussions with the prosecuting attorney or dental board agent should begin, and many other important legal steps. This all must happen very quickly.

Failing to take immediate legal steps to defend your dental board license or waiting until shortly before the administrative hearing to try to hire a lawyer to represent you is a serious mistake, and can irreparably damage your case.

If you are facing a California Dental Board accusation, protect your livelihood and professional license by hiring the right attorney to defend you. Call 1-800-456-3767 or visit Rose Law represents dental professionals and other healthcare licensees everywhere in California in civil, administrative, and criminal legal matters.

(c) 2013 Rose Law, APC

Legal Non-Fiction Answered

Disclaimer: This answer was provided by an attorney selected to Super Lawyers, and is intended to be an educated opinion only. This answer should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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