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Criminal Defense Lawyer for Doctors

Daniel Horowitz photo outside his physician medical board defense office located in lafayette california set outside the office with horowitz in suit and tie and sunglassses

A Criminal Defense Specialist (Board Certified)

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Board Certified Specialist – Only 1 in 500 California Attorneys Qualify

Daniel Horowitz is Board Certified as a criminal defense specialist. A defense lawyer in California cannot claim to be a “specialist” unless he/she is certified by the State Bar of California. All lawyers in California are regulated by the State Bar. Attorneys claiming to be criminal defense specialists must be certified to use that term through the Board of Legal Specialization. The lawful use of the term SPECIALIST is reserved to only about 300 lawyers in the entire State of California. There are about 163,000 lawyers in California. Doctors charged with crimes need lawyers who specialize in defending criminal cases. You strive to be the best and you deserve the best representation.

To be a Board Certified Specialist the attorney must first meet practice requirements. The years of trial and courtroom experience required to even apply separate those qualified to apply for certification from the vast majority of “criminal defense lawyers”.

The applicant must then undergo peer and judicial review to qualify for the final step. The final step is a complex and difficult examination. Daniel Horowitz passed the bar exam and the specialist exam the first time. He now trains applicants in preparation for this examination. (See Pincus Specialization Course – Faculty)

Once certified the specialist has enhanced continuing education requirements in order to maintain board certification. Daniel Horowitz has been a certified specialist for over 25 years.

Major Crime Expertise

Our major crimes expertise makes defense attorney Daniel Horowitz the first choice for complex white collar cases and healthcare fraud defense. Visit our “White Collar” defense site for more information. Daniel Horowitz has served on the Northern District of California’s Electronic Discovery Committee. He has taught trial law and criminal law at the law school and university level. Daniel is a lecturer to attorneys on criminal law matters including training for criminal specialist certification. With hundreds of complex jury trials and evidentiary hearings, few offices can provide a physician or medical group with a deeper set of experienced lawyers.


Minor criminal convictions can end a career. Many physicians are charged with relatively small crimes that can have large impacts on careers. Domestic violence, drug possession, DUI’s (drunk driving) and low level sexual misconduct cases can lead both to criminal charges and license investigations. The impact of these charges on a physician are far more extreme than with almost any other profession. We address this imbalance and protect you with the best defense possible.

Divorce is Dangerous

Contested divorces lead to unintended licensing consequences. A simple restraining order can lead to a complex medical board investigation. Domestic violence charges, parenting disputes all become weaponized when doctors are a party to the divorce. Karina Johnson is our medical lawyer who handles physician divorces. You can trust Karina to see ahead and protect you before the divorce gets out of hand.

– medium and individual medical practices are facing increasing scrutiny by state and federal prosecutors. Insurance companies prefer large medical groups so that their payment and

The Pressure of Medical School Debt

If you are a young physician you easily have $ 200,000 or greater medical school debt. However, you physician, resident or fellowship income is likely too high to qualify you for government debt relief. This is a danger area as the looming debt may push you to take chances that lead to trouble. Online (they love the term “telemedicine”) scams where DME or genetic testing applications get a quick once over for $ 10 a file, can lead to federal charges for health care fraud. There was a recent announcement of AKS (kickback) based arrests of doctors. If you are involved in mass DME prescriptions, you may need legal help. Read the DOJ announcement HERE. Read about a 12 year sentence for DME based medical fraud HERE.

Even established per diem referral agencies can send you suspect jobs that lead to trouble. Do your own due diligence. Practices that are poorly run and hire young doctors may provide you with inappropriate guidance as to billing and referrals. Again, you are not trained in self protection in medical school but you must use your own “BS” radar.

If you are caught in a medical scam or a situation where you suspect wrongdoing, get our assistance immediately. In most cases, we can extricate you. Speed of response is the key factor in obtaining a successful outcome. (We already have the expertise and medical judgments are at issue, our physician lawyer will immediately understand the medical complexities in context to the legal issues.

Common Criminal Charges Brought Against MD’s and Medical Groups

The common business and practice related criminal charges brought against doctors are:

Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud
Tax Fraud
Tax Evasion
DEA drug charges involving opiates
Stark and AKS charges (anti kickback statute)
Money Laundering (use of proceeds from other crimes recycled into the unlawful business)
Billing fraud

California has a particularly dangerous fraud statute. Penal Code Section 550 takes any conduct that arguably elevates a non-payable service that is submitted for compensation – into a felony. So if you regularly do urine tests before prescribing opiates that is good in terms of Medical Board standards. They demand that. However, when you charge for reviewing the tests an insurance carrier may balk at the cost and necessity. They can complain to a local prosecutor and suddenly felony charges arise out of a simple billing dispute. We are presently contesting the validity of Section 550 as used as a billing dispute weapon.

Daniel Horowitz has major case experience on a state, federal and international level with these types of crimes. He was a member of the original electronic discovery committee for the United States District Court (Northern District of California) for criminal cases. Daniel has defended physicians through trial in state and federal courts on billing fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and many other white collar and practice related crimes.

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Practice Areas


Medical board defense is often partially reimbursed by your malpractice insurance carrier. Peer review suspensions and other discipline will trigger a medical inquiry.

Unlike most other professions, even an allegation with little evidence can result in license suspension and the destruction of your reputation.


Peer Review investigations and hearings can proceed with almost unimaginable speed. Negotiations rarely resolve matters in favor of the doctor and our firm focuses on representation where a peer review hearing is necessary to vindicate the physician or at the very least establish a legal basis to challenge an adverse action in the courts. Daniel Horowitz has been lead counsel in literally thousands of evidentiary hearings and hundreds of jury trials.


Nothing will end a career like a criminal conviction but at times the law is extreme and unfair. Small violations get blown out of proportion. Business disputes become tactically criminalized. Our group of associated independent attorneys has 4 board certified criminal defense specialists experienced in state and federal law.

Board Certified Specialist

When you are charged with a crime many states have levels of specialization relating to criminal law. While excellent attorneys may choose not to seek the specialization endorsement, it is often a differentiator that a client can consider and trust. The California Board of Legal Specialization requires testing, peer review, judicial approval and extensive continuing education for a Specialist designation. Daniel Horowitz has also been an CLE instructor for attorneys preparing for the specialist exam.

Image of specialist bear for state bar of california certifying daniel horowitz physician lawyer as a criminal defense specialist