Professionals Charged with Crimes in Florida
Tampa Attorney on Representing Professionals
At the Sammis Law Firm we are experienced in representing professionals charged with criminal offenses, including:
- teachers and other certified educators;
- lawyers and students in law school;
- members of law enforcement and the military;
- nurses and other licensed health care professionals;
- commercial drivers; and
- students who may apply for such a position in the future.
If your career is on the line then contact an attorney that can give you advice on how to deal with the criminal charge and still protect your ability to practice your chosen profession.
Remain Silent About the Allegation
After an investigation begins, and certainly after an arrest is made, it is important to seek out qualified legal representation immediately. Never make a statement to a co-workers, supervisor, disciplinary board, or law enforcement officer until AFTER you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney.
The fact that you invoke your right to remain silent can not generally be used against you in any criminal proceeding (that means the jury would not be told at trial that you wanted to speak to an attorney or refused to talk about the allegation). In most cases, the same right to remain silent applies to administrative proceedings although certain career consequences can attach if you invoke your rights to remain silent. These interests between protecting yourself during a criminal proceeding and during an disciplinary hearing must be carefully balanced.
The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm often represent college students from many of the area colleges, including the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa after an arrest or criminal accusation. College or university students have special concerns after a criminal accusation is made against them. Each college or university publishes a "Code of Conduct" which usually provides that any student accused of a crime may be prosecuted under State or Federal law and also disciplined under the Student Code of Conduct.
In order words, the additional sanctions imposed on a college student are administrative in nature. Therefore, double jeopardy issues do not typically arises in disciplinary proceedings against a college or university student. If the student is suspended or expelled from the school, the student is not usually able to obtain a full refund for tuition or housing expenses.
Even if the university or college takes no action, students should discuss with their attorney any future employment plans, particular if they intend to pursue a career in the military, law enforcement, the legal profession, the health care industry or as a pilot or CDL commercial driver.
Read more about how we defend College Students Charged with a Crime in Florida.
Teachers and Certified Educators
For public school teachers and other certified educators in Florida, the Office of Professional Practices with the Florida Department of Education is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct including allegations that a misdemeanor or felony offense was committed.
Florida Statutes Section 1012.796 provides that any complaint and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation by the Florida Department of Education's Office of Professional Practices Services are confidential and exempt from public disclosure until the conclusion of the preliminary investigation.
Once a case has been opened, the Office of Professional Practices Services with the Florida Department of Education will send you notice via certified mail which will inform you that it has information that the teacher or certified educator was arrested and charged with a criminal offense, The letter will state that if the allegations are founded, the allegations could lead to disciplinary action against the teacher or certified educator's Florida Educator Certificate up to and including permanent revocation.
Within ten (10) days of receipt of the letter, the teacher or certified educator and or his legal representation or criminal defense attorney may send to the Office of Professional Practices Services in the Florida Department of Education documents or names of evidentiary witnesses that are pertinent to the case.
At the conclusion of the preliminary investigation by the Office of Professional Practices Services, the teacher or certified educator and his legal representation or criminal defense attorney may be notified by certified mail of the date and time to review the investigation materials and respond to the allegations.
The rules and statutes that govern the process can be found at www.myfloridateacher.com. Read more about teachers and certified educators arrested or charged with a crime in Florida.
Licensed Health Care Professionals
Doctors, nurses and other licensed health professionals have many concerns after an arrest or criminal investigation. In many of these cases a Department of Health (DOH) investigator will begin an investigation. Knowing the reporting requirements and having assistance during this investigation is critical.
Likewise, mounting an effective and aggressive defense requires representation as soon as possible after the investigation begins. A criminal defense attorney can present favorable information to the investigator on your behalf. Your criminal defense attorney is often in the best position to tell your side the story.
Read more about the defending - Health Care Professionals (Doctors and Nurses) Charge with a Crime including the DEA certificate of registration, surrender of controlled substance privileges, former or informal hearing after a Florida Department of Health investigation,
Contact the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your criminal case. We work with professionals in the medical and legal field, as well as military and law enforcement members to minimize the impact of a criminal investigation or arrest on their freedom and their career.
Read more about Career Consequences for Doctors, Nurses and Health-care Professionals Arrested for a Crime in Florida.
Finding an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Professionals Charged with a Crime
Contact our office to discuss how your career opportunities might be affected by an arrest or prosecution. Our criminal defense attorneys represent professionals such as members of the military at MacDill Air Force Base, pilots and airmen, civilian contractors at MacDill, law enforcement officers for the local, state or federal government, teachers in public or private schools and other certified educators, or nurses and other licenses health care professionals.
Call 813-250-0500 today to speak with a criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm about the specific facts of your case.
Article updated on March 22, 2012.