Los Angeles Unauthorized Practice of Medicine Attorneys
Skilled Defense Against Unauthorized Practice of Medicine Charges in Los Angeles
Unauthorized practice of medicine means practicing, attempting to practice, or advertising practice of any treatment of the sick without a valid license, certificate, or authorization for doing so. This includes diagnosis, operation, or prescription for any ailment, disease, deformity, disfigurement, blemish, disorder, injury, or physical or mental condition.
A medical professional who is licensed in another state but not in California can be charged with this crime for practicing medicine in this state. It is illegal to practice medicine with a license that is suspended, revoked, or expired. Nurses, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals can face charges for practicing outside of the scope of their licenses.
Conviction of unauthorized practice of medicine can have serious consequences. If you are facing these charges, speak with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Is the California Law on Unauthorized Practice of Medicine?
Unauthorized practice of medicine is prohibited under the California Business and Professions Code Section 2052. This law states that anyone who “practices or attempts to practice, or who advertises or holds himself or herself out as practicing” any form of medicine, “without having at the time of so doing a valid, unrevoked, or unsuspended certificate. . .” is guilty of a public offense. Any person who conspires with or aids or abets another person in the unauthorized practice of medicine is also guilty of a public offense and subject to the same penalties.
It is not necessary for a patient to have been harmed or injured for a person to be found guilty. To convict you, the prosecution is not required to show that you intended to cause harm or injury to a patient. This crime does not require a victim.
What Are Some Examples of Unauthorized Practice of Medicine?
Unauthorized practice of medicine can occur in any number of ways, for example:
- A licensed chiropractor who is not licensed as a midwife delivers babies for patients.
- A registered nurse prescribes medication for a patient when the doctor is out.
- A person who is not a licensed medical practitioner advertises hypnosis services to help people quit smoking or lose weight.
- A medical doctor in another state prescribes medication based on an online questionnaire for a patient in California.
- A layperson owns and receives profits from a medical clinic where a licensed doctor is practicing.
What Penalties Does Unauthorized Practice of Medicine Carry?
Unauthorized practice of medicine is a wobbler, which means can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, at the discretion of the prosecution. Factors that influence this decision will include the criminal background of the defendant and whether or not anyone was harmed as a result of his or her actions.
- As a misdemeanor, this crime carries a potential jail sentence of up to one year, misdemeanor probation, and a fine of up to $1,000.
- As a felony offense, it is punishable by a jail sentence of 16, 24, or 36 months, felony probation, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
What Are the Defenses Against Unauthorized Practice of Medicine Charges?
Legal defense against the charges will depend on the circumstances of the case. Common defenses against unauthorized practice of medicine include:
- What you did cannot be defined as practicing medicine.
- You were falsely accused by someone who was disgruntled or misunderstood the services you offered.
- You are a member of a self-help group.
- You did not profit from the services.
Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP can provide skilled criminal defense against charges of unauthorized practice of medicine in Los Angeles. Contact us at (213) 688-0460 to find out how we can help.
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Phone: (213) 688-0460
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Recent Case Results
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Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
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Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
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Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.