If you are caught practicing medicine unauthorized in the state of California, you can face serious charges. Crimes of this nature are prosecuted under the California Business & Professions Code Section 725(b). Our team at the Simmrin Law Group can help you learn more about this charge and what to do in order to fight it and get your life back.
Definition of the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine
California law prohibits individuals from treating other individuals’ medical concerns if they are not certified or licensed to do so. Specifically, unlicensed individuals in the state of California are prohibited from engaging in any of the following activities:
- Practicing, trying to practice, or advertising oneself as a practitioner who can treat illness or some such other physical or mental condition
- Diagnosing, treating, or operating on an individual, or prescribing medication for a physical or mental condition
- Helping another person engage in any of the above behaviors
For example; if an individual is a doctor in another country but starts treating patients in the U.S. without a license and charging them for that service, then he is guilty of the unauthorized practice of medicine. So too is the individual who has no credentials but holds herself out as a midwife, selling her services for a fee.
Penalties For The Unauthorized Practice Of Medicine
If you or a loved one have been charged with the unauthorized practice of medicine, a criminal defense lawyer can help. You should not face a charge like this alone.
A charge of the unauthorized practice of medicine is one of those crimes known in the state of California as a “wobbler.” This means that depending on the circumstances of your case and the direction the prosecution wants to go, you may be looking at either a felony or a misdemeanor.
If convicted, you’re looking at up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor. If, however, the prosecution decides to charge you with a felony, then the penalties are more severe, with prison sentences of anywhere from 16 months to 3 years, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Not only that, but you are also faced with the possibility of losing your license as a healthcare professional if you are found to be in violation of its terms.
A good drug crimes lawyer has the experience necessary to understand just what goes into an unauthorized practice case, and he can use those skills to fight for you and get you the best possible outcome.
You still have legal options available to you if you have been charged with the unauthorized practice of medicine. For one thing, you can argue that your actions did not meet the requirements as set by the law insofar as the definition of “practicing medicine.” For another, you may be able to prove you were falsely accused.
In either case, this is a serious charge with serious consequences. Let our lawyers at the Simmrin Law Group review your case and provide you with the tools you need to take the next step.
Here’s where things can become more complicated. Sometimes, in addition to the unauthorized practice of medicine charge, you may be charged with additional crimes in association with the alleged unauthorized practice of medicine. For instance, tacked on to your case may be the crimes of:
- Prescribing a Controlled Substance Without a Legitimate Purpose
- Prescribing a Controlled Substance Without Treatment
- Providing a Counterfeit Prescription Blank
- Selling Marijuana
These charges add increased severity to your case, and they increase your chances of having that “wobbler” turned into a felony. If you are facing multiple charges, we strongly suggest you give us a call – especially if you are a licensed professional. A conviction of even one of these charges can send you to jail, cost you thousands of dollars, and cause you to lose everything you’ve worked for thus far. Don’t take the chance and go it alone. There’s simply too much at stake.
Facing an Unauthorized Practice Charge in California? Call Us Now!
Individuals charged under California Business & Professions Code Section 2052 can end up facing serious fines and jail time, and that’s without any additional charges tacked on. You can also face the suspension or revocation of your legitimate professional license, which can leave a permanent scar on both your personal and professional reputation.
The Simmrin Law Group offers a FREE initial case evaluation to those accused of practicing medicine unauthorized in the state of California, so what do you have to lose? Give us a call today!