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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers from a Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Have you been arrested in Orange County? Are you facing disciplinary actions against you professional license? I know that these circumstances can be incredibly stressful and you may have many questions. As a Orange County attorney with over 25 years of professional experience, I have handled thousands of cases for clients throughout California. I know the laws and I know how to create solid defenses for a variety of accusations.

At the Alan Castillo – Attorney at Law, I serve clients throughout Orange County from my office in Orange County. If you are interested in a free personalized consultation, do not hesitate to call 949.234.6525.

What is an accusation?

An accusation is an administrative complaint filed by your licensing board against your professional registered license that seeks to either revoke or suspend your license and prevent you from engaging in your chosen profession.

An accusation is typically based on a criminal conviction stemming from an alcohol or drug related offense. Examples include DUI's, possession of drugs, under the influence controlled substances, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Any criminal case in general, especially crimes of violence or crimes against persons or property can form the basis of an accusation.

An accusation can also be based on allegations involving standard of care issues, allegations of improper charting, improper administration, and/or distribution of controlled substances. Such actions can be based on administrative actions taken by your employer, a disciplinary action taken by her employer, or an allocation by a colleague or superior regarding your ability to safely exercise duties and responsibilities of a registered nurse.

If you have any questions or need assistance do not hesitate to contact the Orange County professional license defense attorney Alan Castillo.

How Do I Respond to an Accusation?

The filing and service of an accusation against you requires you to respond within 15 days. Prior to the filing of an accusation you will likely hear from board investigators. Once an accusation is mailed to you, a lawyer from Attorney General's office becomes the official legal representative of your professional board. Do not make the critical mistake of communicating with investigators or the Deputy Attorney General assigned to the case without first consulting with a professional license defense attorney about how and when to respond.

What is a diversion program?

Lower level crimes and accusations are often best handled by treatment over punishment. Diversion programs have been put into place to counsel offenders and pay restitution to the wronged parties. Programs include drug or alcohol rehabilitation and can be completed in six months to a year or more.

Successfully completing a diversion program can help you dismiss your case without serving jail time or save your professional license while you seek treatment for an underlying condition. To qualify for diversion, you must have a period without criminal convictions, have not participated in a similar program for a certain amount of time, and have no prior probation revocations.

What is an inquiry letter?

After an initial complaint is filed, the regulatory board responsible for issuing your professional license will follow up with an inquiry letter to gain more information. This investigation is thorough and the California Department of Consumer Affairs takes all issues very seriously. You should never ignore inquiry letters, as doing so can put your license in jeopardy.

Should I talk to the police?

Remember that whatever you say and do can and will be used against you. While you should always comply with police requests and be courteous and polite, it is never in your best interest to answer questions from law enforcement with having a lawyer present, which is why it is so important to request an attorney as soon as possible. I can help ensure that your rights are always protected and that you do not incriminate yourself.

Remember that you are not obligated to let a police officer search your home, your person, or your vehicle without a warrant. You do not have to consent to roadside alcohol tests, although it may be in your best interest to do so. You must sign any tickets, as not doing so can lead to your immediate arrest. You always have the right to know why you have been arrested for any criminal matter.

Can I erase my criminal record?

In the United States, your criminal record doesn’t just disappear after a certain amount of time has passed. Erasing your past mistakes requires going through the expungement process to have your case formally dismissed by a judge. This allows you to erase certain crimes from your record so you do not have to disclose then when applying for jobs, housing, loans, or professional licenses.