Felony Convictions and License Reinstatement

A licensed professional convicted of a felony drug offense is a major impediment to securing licensure in another jurisdiction or seeking reinstatement once your professional license is disciplined for that conviction. In many license reinstatement cases, applicants are so in need of their license that they hire the wrong attorney, waste money on filing reinstatement petitions prior to the expiration of the license preclusion period, or simply give up on getting their license back.
In a 2017 Pennsylvania Nursing Board Final Adjudication and Order the nurse was convicted in 2006 in Delaware of practicing with an expired nursing license.  In 2015 she sought reinstatement of her Pennsylvania nursing license.  Because she was convicted of a felony involving the practice or professional in Delaware, the convicted offense and license discipline was applicable under the Pennsylvania Nursing Act to her Pennsylvania license.
After 8 years, she hired the wrong attorney to seek reinstatement of her Pennsylvania nursing license. Her attorney thought reinstatement was was possible based upon mitigation and rehabilitation evidence.  She was wrong.
Pennsylvania’s Professional Nursing Law, section 6(c), states that the “Board may not issue a license or [graduate training certificate] to an applicant who has been convicted or a felony relating to a controlled substance law (in any jurisdiction) unless at least 10 years has elapsed from the date of conviction.   It does not matter how much rehabilitation the applicant has undergone.  If the application for licensure is not outside the ten years, there is no legal ability for the Board to consider the license application.
This denial of licensure application case reveals that counsel for the applicant did not know the law.  Focusing on rehabilitation rather than eligibility, the applicant’s attorney wasted his client’s money on his premature application, hearing, and appeal time.
Licensing attorneys must know what evidence is admissible in the relaxed administrative hearing process under GRAPP (General Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure) 2 PA.C.S. § 504.  Knowing to what exhibits or evidence to object and facts an attorney should stipulate will make or break a licensee’s case.  The uninformed general practitioner will not know the importance or admissibility of certain evidence.  They will waste time and legal fee money fighting evidence that is admissible in evidence for the Board to consider or will move into evidence evidence that the Board should not consider.
More importantly, the uninformed practitioner will accept a case simply to pay their bills.  The uniformed attorney will take cases that have no merit, can not be won, or will lose a case that is easily won.  Desperate licensed professionals who are waiting out a discipline and seek reinstatement will pay an attorney who sounds good but can not discern the attorney’s lack of knowledge of their case.
Call me for confidence in understanding your case.  I will give you a clear understanding of the problem, counsel you about the risks and rewards of fighting your case.  I will not take your case, or fight for your license if you do not want me to, can not afford it, or there is no basis to seek reinstatement.
Fighting a disciplinary action – an Order to Show Cause -, contesting the VRP or DMU letters must be done with competent informed counsel. Never concede an impairment. Never admit an addiction without formal legal counseling on the affect of such on your license. Never plead guilty to any criminal offense without consultation with an experienced license attorney so you understand the collateral consequences of the criminal conviction, ARD, or no contest plea.  Please read my blogs and website to understand how I can help you and protect your license.


Rural Nursing and the Scope of My Practice

Telephones are great.  Your reading this blog because of the internet.  You are concerned about a legal issue of which I have written about.  I write all of my blogs and wrote every article on my website and the topics contained therein.    All the AVVO reviews on my website are from great medical professional facing significant issues  of which I help them considerably.

Due to the Pennsylvania nursing impairment enforcement environment, my professional license defense practice (criminal and disciplinary hearing) take me to many rural counties throughout Pennsylvania.  My web and internet presence starts my legal relationships.  I meet with almost every client in either county district or Common Please Court, in Harrisburg for a hearing, or at a convenient place to prepare for the next step in the legal process.  I therefore drive a lot.

My driving throughout the Commonwealth brings me to really wonderful people, scenery, and vistas.  I have written about driving through the Lehigh Valley several times.  Last week I ventured off to Columbia County.  It could be considered the middle of the Commonwealth — a wealthy state it is.  Some pictures taken while driving reveal the early morning fog burning off.


The really interesting thing about this photograph is that the fog is coming from the cold water of the eastern branch of the Susquehanna River.  This branch meanders west and then south, merging with the northern branch that falls north to south from Lewisburg and Williamsport into Harrisburg, where my clients and I attend the Nursing, Medical Board and other hearings.

Coming back from Columbia County, Jim Thorpe and the Lehigh River bring me home through the Lehigh Tunnel.


I really like Carbon County, Jim Thorpe.  The town is great.  The court house is magnificent, and there is a bike rental and equipment shop next to the breakfast place.  The crazy monument controversy is alive and present in the town square.

Carbon County Square

Call me to talk about coming to your Pennsylvania County to handle your nursing license, medical license, or other professional license disciplinary or criminal matter.

Federal Pre-Trial and Trial Motions for an Effective Defense.

Federal criminal matters typically involve complex pre-trial issues. Your counsel’s ability to recognize and trouble a shoot matter to identify pre-trial motions is an important part of every defense.

Sometimes, is a pre-trial motion is successful, it will allow for extensive discovery and a consolidation of the evidence and charges against an accused. A list of some important pre-trial motions include a: Motion to Dismiss an Indictment, Motion for a Bill of Particulars, Motion to Compel Discovery, Motion for Jenks Act Materials, Motions to Sever an Indictment, Motion to Compel/ Strike Bruton Act Materials, Motion to Identify and Expert, Motion to Identify Evidence Subject to Potential Suppression, Motion to Produce Brady/Giglio Material, Motion to Exclude Prior Bad Acts, Motion to Preclude Criminal Record, and Motions to Compel certain Jury Voir Dire Questions.

During trial, counsel must remain vigilant to protect the record from negative evidence being presented to the jury.  Included in this responsibility is presenting oral motions in limine to limit witness testimony to be consistent with the proffered evidence during any pre-trial hearing.  Counsel must be ready to also file Motions to Preclude the Government from presenting to the jury blown up exhibits or videos that may be prejudicial to a defendant and Motions to Dismiss parts of indictment if the evidence does not meet the statutory requirements and a jury maybe caused to speculate.

If counts of an indictment are dismissed, Motions to Modify potential jury instructions to comport with the evidence and advise the jury to disregard certain evidence that is now irrelevant is important. At the close of the Government’s case, a Motion for Judgment of Acquittal is always necessary to protect the record. Significant victories in whittling down the indicted charges will also allow for better jury instructions.  All together, these motions will it harder for the government to meet its burden of proof.

In cases involving the use of a computer and the internet, hiring an expert to review the computer forensic evidence is a must. Your expert will insure the government’s computer forensic evaluation is legally correct. The expert will either be present at trial to testify with a report or to assist in the evaluation of the government’s evidence in cross examination. Proper interpretation to the jury of the government’s computer evidence will eliminate a jury’s assumption and automatic acceptance of the government’s expert’s testimony as the gospel.

Every internet possesory pornography case includes the burden of proof of interstate commerce of each image in question. Expert testimony that items on a computer were downloaded from the Internet, without proper foundation, is a false argument for which a hired defense expert will be able to rebut. Significantly, a Motion to Compel Inspection of your computer in the government’s possession will be necessary. Your expert must conduct an independent Forensic investigation of the government’s computer evidence to ascertain the factual basis of the government’s expert report. What media devices the government’s expert reviewed, on what digital media device certain images or evidence was located and when those items were created, viewed, and uploaded or transferred on that computer, through what means, is very relevant in the inter-state burden of proof issues.
Call me to discuss your case and how you wish your counsel to handle your matter.

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