Understanding Your Options For Defending Your Teacher License
If you’re facing allegations of teacher misconduct, or you are under investigation for a complaint by the Professional Practices Services division of the Florida Department of Education, you deserve a capable defense. Our lawyers at Bilello & Soowal, PLLC, can stand up for you.
We know the importance of what’s at stake – your teaching license, your career, your future job prospects and your reputation. Our education attorneys will draw on their extensive experience defending teachers to advocate for you and protect your rights.
Ways To Challenge The Allegations And Pursue A Better Outcome
- Challenging the evidence: You only have 14 days after receiving written notice of the investigation to submit evidence such as witness statements and documentation. Our team can help you gather the right evidence.
- Negotiating a favorable settlement agreement: Whenever possible, it’s wise to explore a settlement that will protect you from the harsh consequences of disciplinary action. A strong settlement can preserve your license and your reputation while avoiding the stress and expense of a hearing.
- Appearing at an informal hearing: If you aren’t able to secure a favorable settlement, another option is to appear before the Education Practices Commission (EPC) for an informal hearing. Doing so involves admitting to the accuracy of the allegations in the complaint against you, so this path should only be used in limited circumstances. It’s primarily a way to seek a more lenient penalty.
- Insisting on a formal hearing: You have the right to a formal hearing before an administrative law judge, who will issue a recommendation with detailed findings. The EPC will then consider that recommendation at another hearing. Having a lawyer at the formal hearing is essential for mounting the strongest possible defense.
- File an appeal in court: You appeal the finding of a DOAH judge. You can also appeal the EPC’s order if contrary to law.
As you can see, there are many steps in the disciplinary process, and you have important rights at each stage.
We Can Help You Strategically Exercise Your Options For An Effective Defense
The best strategy for challenging the allegations is to take a proactive approach at the outset. As soon as you receive written notice of an investigation against you, reach out to our team at 866-335-1513. You can also send us an email to reach our offices in Orlando and Deerfield Beach.