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
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
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.