Illinois Professional License Defense | Business & Administrative Law

Illinois Professional License Defense | Business & Administrative Law

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Updated on:
July 8, 2018

​In this article, we will give an overview of professional license discipline in Illinois. In Illinois, professional licensure is overseen by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”). Consequently, the IDFPR oversees all aspects of licensing from testing requirements down to discipline. Hopefully, most licensed professionals deal with the former and not the latter; but what should you consider when you receive a notice of discipline from IDFPR? 

Bases for Discipline of a Professional License in Illinois 

In Illinois, professional licenses can be disciplined for a variety of reasons. You need to determine what action (or inaction) has caused IDFPR to institute discipline your license. The most common reasons for discipline are:·         

  • Failure to pay student loans;·         
  • Failure to maintain continuing education requirements;·         
  • Failure to observe accepted standard of care practices;·         
  • Failure to respond to any request for information from IDFPR; or even·         
  • Criminal conviction. 

‍It is important to determine the basis of your discipline, because it will determine the extent of the penalties you will be facing. For example, failure to maintain continuing education requirements is likely to warrant a warning and or fine, and once the required education hours are obtained the license is likely to resume being in good standing. If, on the other hand, the basis for your discipline is for a failure to practice using industry accepted standards of care, or for a criminal conviction (particularly a felony conviction) you license may be subject to probation, suspension, or even revocation. 

‍It is important to determine the basis of your discipline, because it will determine the extent of the penalties you will be facing. For example, failure to maintain continuing education requirements is likely to warrant a warning and or fine, and once the required education hours are obtained the license is likely to resume being in good standing. If, on the other hand, the basis for your discipline is for a failure to practice using industry accepted standards of care, or for a criminal conviction (particularly a felony conviction) you license may be subject to probation, suspension, or even revocation.

What Happens if A Professional is Disciplined in Illinois?

Besides the obvious reason that discipline to your professional license can impair your ability to earn a living there are several other important reasons to care about your license being disciplined:

  • Disciplinary actions to any license are published by IDFPR and therefore readily available to be viewed by potential clients or patients;
  • Discipline in Illinois often triggers discipline in a neighboring state if the license holds licenses in multiple states;
  • Prospective employers can search the IDFPR database to see if a licensee has ever been disciplined;
  • Insurance carriers can search the IDFPR database to see if a licensee has ever been disciplined. 

What type of professional discipline could I receive?

The type of discipline you can receive varies depending upon the grounds and number of violations of the rules governing your license. Possible forms of punishment that could be levied in order of least stringent to most stringent are: 

  • Administrative Warning Letter;
  • Official reprimand to your license;
  •  Attendance or completion of  additional educational training or seminars
  • Non-monitored Probation;
  • Monitored Probation;
  • Suspension;
  • Revocation. 

How does IDFPR decide discipline is warranted?   

Prior to any formal disciplinary action being taken against your license, an investigation needs to be completed. An investigation will result from a complaint to the department regarding your professional conduct. Once a complaint has been received, the allegations of the complaint are turned over to a departmental investigator to verify the facts or grounds surrounding the allegations.  If there are no grounds to the allegations the complaint will not be taken any further. 

‍However, if the investigator feels there is truth to the allegations, it is likely they will contact you to elicit information from you.

It is likely you will receive a written notice of a pending investigation and asking you to contact the investigator. It is crucial you take this request seriously!  (Failure to cooperate with any investigation can be grounds for disciple itself.)  It is also crucial that you understand that you are entitled to have a lawyer represent you, even at this stage of the proceedings.  Bear in mind that this is the first opportunity you have to explain your side of the story or provide any documents that may support your defense. Once the investigation has concluded, the results are turned over to a Departmental prosecutor. The prosecutor will review the results and if the prosecutor feels you have violated the practice act governing your license, then formal disciplinary procedures will be instituted against your license. 

‍​As a licensed professional subject to discipline, you have a right to have an attorney represent you in any disciplinary proceedings you may be facing. It is in your best interest to retain an attorney to represent you in such proceedings. 

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our offices in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, St. Charles, Lake in the Hills and Tinley Park, Illinois.

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

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Illinois Professional License Defense | Business & Administrative Law
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Bases for Discipline of a Professional License in IllinoisWhat Happens if A Professional is Disciplined in Illinois?What type of professional discipline could I receive?How does IDFPR decide discipline is warranted? Illinois professional license discipline explainedprofessional license discipline illinois

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