As we indicated before in our previous blog, professionals in Pennsylvania
are regulated by the
Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA). A question many licensed professionals and workers have is "once
an investigation begins,
what steps should a person take to defend their livelihood?"
As we reported
here, the start of a BPOA investigation can be brought about by a number of
reasons and the first time the accused usually becomes aware of the investigation
is when they are contacted at home or their office by one of the BPOA's
investigators - known as Professional Conduct Investigators, or PCIs.
If you only heed one piece of advice,
speak with a professional licensing attorney before you speak with a PCI
or give them any documents or records. PCIs are not required to provide the target of their investigation
with "Miranda Warnings" that police officers and detectives
must give. They often will not provide a copy of the complaint against
However, a licensee represented by counsel has a tremendous advantage over
an unrepresented target. A
Philadelphia criminal defense attorney familiar with defending licensed professionals in Pennsylvania can:
- explain your rights
- control what information is provided to the PCI by making appropriate objections
and ensuring that the PCI and BPOA has complied with law governing the
release of medical (and other) records
- request that any interviews be recorded so that your words cannot be twisted
- obtain information and documents for investigators
- ensure that your possible defenses to any allegations are not damaged during
an interview with a PCI
- communicate directly with the BPOA's prosecuting attorney
- provide a position statement to the BPOA attorney before a decision is
made whether to prosecute or not.
An investigation does not automatically lead to prosecution. With skilled
representation from the beginning, it is possible to have an investigation
closed without prosecution or formal disciplinary charges.
Licensed professionals are experts in their field. But, they don't
know the law, procedure, or rules that apply to a BPOA investigation.
In fact, most attorneys are not even familiar with these specialized rules.
In nearly all cases, an unrepresented person is simply not adequately
prepared to be interrogated by a seasoned investigator, and does not know
how to subpoena documents and present evidence on their own behalf in
a compelling way. The sad truth is that people with a good defense or
explanation just do not know how to adequately prepare their case and
either avoid prosecution, or argue effectively in front of the BPOA because
they have never been through anything like this before. The BPOA is represented
by attorneys: you should be too.
If you have been notified by the BPOA or one of its investigators about
a complaint against you, contact a lawyer that has the skills, experience,
and reputation to handle the allegations against you.
Timothy Tarpey, and
James Lloyd are criminal defense attorneys
and former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorneys with more than 40 years
of experience who have
handled thousands of criminal cases.
More importantly, Tim Tarpey and Jim Lloyd are also Certified Fraud Examiners
(CFE). As Certified Fraud Examiners, our attorneys are highly skilled
in analyzing claims of fraud, deception, improper record keeping, and
other financial issues and in building a strong and persuasive defense.
If you have any type of questions about an occupational license or professional
licensing disciplinary issue, don't try to handle a complicated situation
without professional help.
You can ask our attorneys questions about your case for free, and with
no obligation.Simply contact us at (215) 352-3432.