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State Board Discipline Defense

Optometristscalifstateboard in California are regulated by the California State Board of Optometry, which is a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The purpose of the State Board is to protect the public, and that includes the licensing and discipline of California licensed optometrists. The Board investigates complaints against optometrists, and brings accusations or charges against optometrists, under the Administrative Procedure Act if it finds cause to do so. In most cases the Board seeks revocation or suspension of your license!


Though charges (accusations) by the State Board may seek as a remedy (e.g. punishment) everything from a non-disciplinary citation or fine, to suspension or revocation of one's license, the California Board almost always seeks at the outset suspension or revocation, even for relatively minor offenses. Almost always the State Board will also seek the payment of money in the form of fines, investigative costs, and restitution. Every State Board investigation and accusation should be taken very seriously, and you should always have an attorney involved in defending you from the very outset, even before you agree to an interview.

Optometrists are subject to Board discipline for a wide variety of things, from a drunk driving arrest, improper business practices (i.e. improper practice location, business relations with an optician, improper VSP and third party billing, etc.), failure to comply with Board rules regulating prescription releases, signs, and advertising, to malpractice and competence claims. Contrary to common belief, the State Board and the investigator working for them are not your friends, and are not on your side. Their job is to prosecute you if they can find a reason to do so. You should not speak with an investigator before speaking with an attorney!


Dr. Steinberg has represented and defended dozens of California optometrists facing state board investigation and discipline, and has tried countless cases before Administrative Law Judges on behalf of optometrists accused of violating the Optometry law. If you receive an Accusation, or if you are contacted by an investigator acting on behalf of the Board of Optometry or the Department of Consumers affairs who says he or she wants to interview you, you should immediately seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Investigators are notoriously "inaccurate" in their reporting of interviews, and their job is to find evidence of your wrongdoing, not to find proof you didn't do anything wrong!