What happens when you are under investigation by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA – Division of Professional License), in Colorado?
The professional licensing division of DORA will first notify you that a complaint has been made against your license. Typically, you will receive a letter or e-mail from the Office of Enforcement that will contain the following information:
1. The specific circumstances surrounding the allegations being made against you.
2. That a specific investigator has been assigned to your case for further review.
3. That you must respond to the complaint in writing within a certain amount of time.
One of the first questions you may ask yourself is, do I need an attorney? Even though you are not being charged with a crime, your professional license is on the line and that can be just as terrifying. Hiring a Colorado lawyer who knows the process can ensure your career stays on track. You do not want to risk sending the wrong response only to regret it later and end up with your professional license formally revoked. It’s also very important to keep in mind that criminal charges could be filed in conjunction or as a result of facts alleged in the complaint. The regulatory agency could turn the case over to the District Attorney’s Office for formal criminal charges. This is why it is extremely important to consult with an experienced Denver attorney before responding to the allegations.
Often a complaint occurs when someone goes online to the licensing agency’s webpage and files a formal complaint against you. The allegations can range from serious to a simple unsatisfied customer. The agency then assigns an investigator to review the allegations in the complaint to determine if further action is necessary. Depending on the situation, an investigation can end quickly if the investigator is satisfied with your initial response and no further disciplinary action is required. This is why contacting a Denver Colorado attorney when you first receive a complaint could result in an early dismissal of your case.
However, it is important to realize that the initial process is slow and can take up to 180 days to complete an investigation. The regulatory authority could request a hearing regarding the complaint and allegations. Contacting a Colorado attorney can help avoid mistakes and retain your professional license.
There are different types of disciplinary actions utilized for each situation on a case-by-case basis. The regulatory authority could send a letter of concern written to you privately with no further action required. Your professional license could be suspended for a certain amount of time or suspended with a certain punishment attached that might include classes and educational seminars. The ultimate punishment, of course is that the regulatory agency can revoke your professional license. It is important to contact a Colorado attorney to help navigate this process and help you best respond to the allegations.