DCA is Law Enforcement at its Core

The Medical Board is subject to and controlled by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The DCA is controlled by Attorney General. The Attorney General is the Chief law enforcement officer in California. In other words, there is a tendency for the Medical Board to view physicians through two lenses. First, the lens set by the political appointees who sit on the board. Next through the law enforcement lens of the lawyers who both advise and control the investigative process.

Look at the DCA board website. Before they list the 36 boards they supervise there is a link to file a complaint. The “Enforcement” page is more direct. Their page then reflects their law enforcement focus. Our attorneys have extraordinary experience working at the board level and criminal court level. Our former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Defense Specialists understand the approach of the Attorney’s General. We can work with them – effectively.

To better understand this point, consider how the DCA describes itself.


The State of California’s Law Enforcement Branch for Consumer Protection.”

This “Consumer Protection” language is not physician friendly. The same page has a segment titled “WHAT WE DO”. Here is what “they” do. (per their own webpage) Note: We often refer to Physician but this discussion affects dentists, osteopaths, nurses, physician assistants and the other regulated medical professions.

“Criminal/Administrative Investigations of:

Prescription/Medical Narcotics Enforcement
Illegal Practice of Medicine
Wrongful Death
Patient Abuse
Identity Theft
Sexual Misconduct
Unlicensed Activity
False Advertising
Underground Economy

This is not your friendly neighborhood “guild”. It is an investigative agency staffed by law enforcement officers looking at doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists (etc) with a generally unfriendly eye.

If you wonder “How We Do It”, the DCA tells you.

“Intelligence Gathering
Sting & Undercover Operations
Search Warrants/Subpoenas
Computer Forensic Analysis”

In this unfriendly context, you need a lawyer when dealing with the board and remember the nursing board, physician board, osteopathic board are all, in the end, the DCA.

Per their website: “The Division of Investigation (DOI) was established by the Legislature in 1961 to provide centralized investigative services for the various regulatory boards, bureaus, programs, committees, and commissions within the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). Section 830.3(a) of the California Penal Code designates DOI investigators as sworn peace officers, who perform a full range of peace officer duties and responsibilities.” In other words, this “regulatory” agency is pure law enforcement on the DOI side. See also Business & Professions Code section 160.

Per their website, the Division of Investigation is divided into two units. The “Investigation and Enforcement Unit” (IEU) provides investigative services to a variety of boards and bureaus that include, including the board/bureaus of:

  • Acupuncture
  • Architects
  • Barbering and Cosmetology
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Geologists and Geophysicists
  • Optometry
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Registered Nursing
  • Security and Investigative Services
  • Veterinary Medical
  • Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians

The Health Quality Investigative Unit (HQIU) investigates:

  • Medical Board of California
  • Osteopathic Medical Board
  • Physician Assistants
  • Podiatric Medicine

The DCA & Your Medical Licensing Lawyer

Daniel Horowitz and Dan Russo have over 500 jury trials as lead counsel. Tom Kensok was formerly # 2 in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office. He charged healthcare crimes and interacted regularly with the California Attorney General’s office. Daniel Horowitz has posted the ATTORNEY’S GUIDE TO DEFENDING A MEDICAL FRAUD CASE which attorneys rely on to structure their defense of physicians on criminal charges. But even a medical license lawyer functioning only in the administrative context, must consider the mindset of those on the other side. Our knowledge of the DCA and its structure allows us to address their concerns and resolve cases before they escalate.

Call our California medical license lawyers at (925) 283-1863. You will reach a real person in the office if you call during business hours. Click the “TOP 100” icon and fill out our (brief) intake form. We will contact you quickly during business hours.

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