Professional Engineer License Defense Attorney
As a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you have the responsibility to design structures, components, and/or systems that are essential to many facets of modern life. However, one complaint or allegation against you can threaten to destroy all that you’ve worked hard to achieve. Your reputation, livelihood, and your freedom may be at stake if you are accused of any sort of wrongdoing. If you currently find yourself in this position, it’s important to obtain legal representation through the services of an experienced engineering defense attorney.
At Fienman Defense, we have experience defending licensees before the State Board for Professional Engineers. We also have a proven track record of defending professionals in criminal court. We will help you navigate through every aspect of the process to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Our goal is to preserve your license and mitigate or eliminate the collateral consequences you are facing.
Call us today at (215) 839-9529 to request a consultation.
Engineer License Defense Services
Attorney Michael Fienman is equipped with the knowledge and resources to serve as your skilled engineering defense lawyer, providing you with a strong representation regardless of your specific engineering practice area, including:
- Aeronautical engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Civil engineering
- Control System Engineer
- Electrical engineering
- Environmental engineering
- Industrial engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Metallurgical engineering
- Nuclear engineering
- Petroleum engineering
- Software engineering
- Structural engineering
Grounds for Disciplinary Action by the State Board
Misconduct that can result in disciplinary action against you from the Pennsylvania State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) include but are not limited to:
- Conviction of any crime involving moral turpitude
- Deceit or fraud in obtaining a license to practice
- Gross negligence or misconduct in the practice of engineering
- Violating the rules of professional conduct
- Inability to practice due to drunkenness, use of controlled substances, chemicals, or other inhibiting materials
- Mental or physical incapacitation inhibiting the safe practice of engineering
- Professional incompetence
You may ask the question, “Can I be a professional engineer with a DUI?” Some DUIs are considered crimes of moral turpitude. If you have received a misdemeanor DUI conviction, the answer may be yes. However, if you have received a felony DUI conviction, the obstacles may present you with great difficulty in obtaining or retaining your professional engineering license.
For these reasons, it is essential to obtain the best legal counsel possible in the form of an experienced professional engineering defense attorney.
PA State Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists
The State Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists has the responsibility of issuing certificates of registration to professional engineers, land surveyors, and geologists it deems qualified. It also has the responsibility and authority to remove engineering certificates when charges of professional misconduct and/or gross incompetence result in a conviction and suspension/revocation of the engineer’s license.
Procedure for the Suspension and Revocation of Licenses
Prior to the suspension or revocation of an engineer’s license or the removal of that engineer’s registration or certification, a written complaint shall be provided to the licensee or registrant, giving them an opportunity to have a hearing before the Board in person and along with any supportive legal counsel.
Charges and Hearings
Before any charges are placed against you, the Board will conduct an investigation into the allegations. After the investigation is completed, the Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation will send an investigation report to the Professional Compliance Office. That office will then send the matter to a prosecuting attorney who will make the decision as to whether or not the filing of formal disciplinary charges is necessary. If the case lacks evidence to take disciplinary action, it will be closed.
If the evidence is substantial enough to justify the filing of disciplinary charges, the prosecuting attorney will begin the process by issuing an Order to Show Cause, which outlines the allegations and gives you 30 days to respond to the allegations in writing.
Upon receiving an answer from you, the case will likely be scheduled for a hearing. At the hearing, the case is heard and a decision is given. This decision is usually provided within six months after the closing of the evidentiary record. As the licensee, you may appeal an unfavorable decision in Commonwealth Court. A professional engineering defense attorney can provide you with crucial representation during this entire process.
Possible Penalties Imposed by the Board
As a licensee convicted of certain offenses, you may receive penalties imposed by the Board that involve fines or imprisonment. For instance, for a first offense, the board may impose a sentence on you that includes a fine no greater than $1,000, and/or imprisonment not to exceed three months. Conviction of a felony charge may subject you to a fine of $2,000 to $5,000, and/or imprisonment of up to two years. Due to these potential consequences, it is essential as a licensee charged with misconduct to obtain the services of an adept and experienced professional engineering defense lawyer.
The Board may also vote to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 on any current licensee who is demonstrated to have violated any portion of the ACT 367, the Engineer, Land Surveyor, and Geologist Registration Law, or on any individual who practices without a proper license. As the accused party, and before the imposition of this penalty, you must be afforded an opportunity for a Hearing.
Having a successful defense in a criminal trial that results in a not guilty verdict or the withdrawal of the charges against you may not eliminate the possible penalties imposed by the State Board in an administrative hearing process. You may still be subject to the loss of your professional license, fines, civil penalties or incarceration. Therefore, it is essential to have the help of an experienced attorney who understands how to provide you with comprehensive representation in both arenas.
Get Help From an Experienced Professional Engineering Defense Attorney
Any threat to the status of your professional engineering license is a threat to your livelihood and your future. It’s important to act quickly to obtain the legal representation you need in order to secure your engineering license and fight effectively against the charges leveled against you. At Fienman Defense, we understand what you are facing and can provide you with the advocacy you need.
Call us today at (215) 839-9529 to set up a case evaluation.