Joseph P. Hougnon, Attorney at Law

Sacramento Attorney Blog

Felony DUI Charges Have Serious Implications

Being charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in California can have serious impacts on your life. Without the assistance of a felony DUI charges defense in Sacramento, DUI convictions can always carry the possibility of stiff fines, jail time, and a big increase in your insurance rates. In addition, you could also be facing the loss of your job and the stigma of being convicted of a crime that is heavily frowned upon by society. When a DUI Charge Can Be a Felony in California In most cases, a DUI charge is a misdemeanor offense. This… Read More

Injury Related DUI Cases Can Be Charged as Misdemeanors or Felonies

DUI accidents where a driver causes an injury to another person are known as “wobbler” cases. This means a defendant can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. The primary determining factor is the nature and the scope of the injuries that were a result of the collision. Unfortunately, when an officer arrives on scene and learns that someone has been drinking, they tend to automatically assume that that person is to blame. Many times, accident reports are written with that bias and based on that assumption. Defending Against an Injury-Related DUI Charge The circumstances of a particular… Read More

Despite DUI Legalization in California, You Can Still Get a Drug-Related DUI

On January 1, 2018 marijuana became legal for recreational use in California. Although it is a law that has been many years in the making, there are still some particulars related to how marijuana and its use is regulated in the state. For example, although it has been legalized, you must still use marijuana as you would any other drug, such as alcohol, when out in public. And make no mistake about it, you can still be charged with a drug-related DUI in Sacramento if you light up and get behind the wheel. Defending Against a Drug-Related DUI Prosecution of… Read More

Dealing with the Epidemic of Domestic Violence

Even in the best marriages, the stress and strain of everyday living can sometimes take its toll. Communications can break down, and two people in a relationship can bring their outside problems to bear and take things out on each other, leading to unfortunate incidents of domestic violence. According to the Partnership to End Domestic Violence, about 40% of Californian women experience physical violence by their partners in their lifetimes, and younger women between 18-24 years old are significantly more likely to be victims. Because the threat of violence is always possible in a domestic violence situation, law enforcement officials… Read More

What Happens When a Complaint is Filed Against a Real Estate Broker or Agent

The California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) issues licenses and imposes disciplinary action against real estate brokers and real estate agents in California. When a complaint is filed against a broker or an agent, you will be contacted by the Bureau’s Enforcement section which is responsible for investigating misconduct. The investigations may be initiated with a BRE investigator who will contact the agent or broker by a letter of complaint and inquiry. In other instances the BRE may conduct the investigation covertly if it has reason to believe contacting the agent or broker will inhibit the investigation. Why You Should… Read More

A Pharmacy License Defense Attorney May Help You Avoid Formal Sanctions

In California, there are almost 30,000 licensed pharmacists who are regulated by the California State Board of Pharmacy. The mission of this governing body is to protect and promote the safety of Californians by ensuring that pharmacists use the highest quality of care and the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals through education, communication, licensing, legislation, regulation, and enforcement. The vast majority of pharmacists may never have a complaint filed against them, but it does happen. If it is not handled proactively and aggressively, the results can have a significant impact on the personal and professional life of a licensee. There are… Read More

There Are Many Types of Medical Licensing Boards in California

More than one million individuals possess Healthcare licenses issued by California medical licensing boards. These can range from doctors and dentists, to social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, nurses, and veterinarians to name but a few. While the vast majority of these practicing professionals have little or no contact with these various licensing boards, the impacts can be significant both in terms of the process and the outcome when a complaint is filed against a healthcare professional. Complaints can vary widely in both the circumstances and gravity of a possible offense. Some of the more common offenses include: Insurance and Medicare fraud… Read More

Retaining the Services of a Dental License Defense Attorney

The Dental Board of California is responsible for protecting the health and safety of California consumers related to dental care as well as overseeing the conduct of more than 30,000 dental professionals in the state. It does this by administering rules and regulations set forth in the Dental Practice Act. The DBC takes it’s mission seriously and vigorously protects consumers from unsafe, incompetent, negligent, or impaired dentists throughout the state. The DBC can hand out penalties ranging from warnings to fully and permanently suspending a dental professional’s license, leaving them without a professional identity or the ability to earn a… Read More

The Benefits of Hiring a Chiropractor License Defense Attorney

In California, chiropractors’ conduct is governed by the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners.  It is the job of this governing body to investigate complaints made against chiropractors and to determine what levels of discipline may be meted out.   Rules governing the conduct of chiropractors in the state are complex, making it next to impossible for a chiropractor to represent themselves in front of the BCE.  Attempting to do so is a high stakes gamble that could produce a negative outcome and could end a chiropractor’s career.   In addition to bringing much-needed objectivity to a formal accusation, a chiropractor… Read More

How to Prepare for an Administrative Hearing

If you are a licensed professional in California and a complaint has been filed against you, there is a formal process you will need to go through to have the complaint adjudicated. After a formal accusation is made, the licensing board that governs your particular profession will investigate the claim and determine if there is enough evidence to have the matter heard in a court proceeding. Administrative hearings are part of the check and balance system put in place to make sure licensing agencies are treating their members fairly and without prejudice. Procedures regarding the investigation of licensing claims are… Read More