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California Business License Defense Attorney

We defend licensed businesses in California

California Department of Food and Agriculture License Defense Attorney

CDFA License Defense Lawyer

The California Department Food and Agriculture, known as the CDFA, issues and regulates numerous licenses in the State of California. Most CDFA licensees have minimal or no contact with the enforcement arm of the California Department Food and Agriculture. For Licensees who become part of the California Department Food and Agriculture disciplinary process, the consequences are profound. The CDFA License disciplinary process is complex, procedural and time consuming. Licensees facing the California Department Food and Agriculture disciplinary process should seek legal representation from an experienced California Department Food and Agriculture License Defense Attorney.

The California Department Food and Agriculture issues the following types of licenses and permits:

  • 40 Mile Cattle Special Transportation Permit
  • 50 Mile Cattle Out of State Pasture Permit
  • Broker License
  • Butter Graders License
  • Cash Buyer License
  • Cattle Pasture to Pasture Permit
  • Collection Center License
  • Commercial Blood Bank Registration
  • Commission Merchant License
  • Custom Exempt Plant Registration
  • Custom Livestock Slaughter License
  • Dairy Farm License
  • Dairy Plant License
  • Dead Animal Haulers License
  • Dealer License
  • Diabetic/Diatetic License
  • Frozen Milk Products Plant License
  • Inedible Kitchen Grease Renderer License
  • Inedible Kitchen Grease Transporter Registration
  • Inedible Materials Transporters License
  • Inedible Permit
  • Insect Permit
  • Interstate Entry Permit
  • Livestock Brand Registration
  • Livestock Meat Inspector License
  • Meat Processing Plant License
  • Milk Distributor License
  • Milk Handler License
  • Milk Products Plant License
  • Mobil Slaughterer Registration
  • Noxious Weeds Permit
  • Oleomargarine License
  • Pasteurizer’s License
  • Pet Food License
  • Plant Pests Permit
  • Plant Quarantine Commodities Permit
  • Poultry Meat Inspector license
  • Processing Inspector License
  • Processor License
  • Registered Cattle Feedlot License
  • Registered Dairy Inspector License
  • Samplers and Weighers License
  • Seed Sweet Potato Import Permit
  • Technician’s License
  • Tester’s License
  • Vitamin and Minerals Permit

California Department Food and Agriculture Investigation Defense Lawyer

The majority of California Department Food and Agriculture investigations begin with the filing of a consumer Complaint. However, California Department Food and Agriculture Investigations also occur through sting operations, criminal conviction referrals and criminal investigations. The California Department Food and Agriculture utilizes non sworn civilian investigators to conduct non criminal investigations. The California Department Food and Agriculture employs sworn Peace Officer Investigators to conduct criminal investigations against Licensees. These employees investigate criminal and administrative law violations. Administrative Law Due Process Rights differ substantially from the Due Process Rights accorded in criminal law.

It is important to have an attorney that understands the California Department Food and Agriculture disciplinary process. At the conclusion of a California Department Food and Agriculture investigation, the Department has several options. The Department can choose to close the Complaint. The Department can choose to issue a Citation. The Department can also choose to refer the matter to the California Attorney General’s Office. The California Attorney General’s Office will determine whether cause exists to file a formal disciplinary Accusation. In cases involving criminal conduct, the Department may refer the case to the local District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. If you are a licensee facing a California Department Food and Agriculture investigation, contact a California Department Food and Agriculture License Defense Attorney for representation.

CDFA Accusation Defense Attorney

A formal Accusation served on a California CDFA licensee serves as notice to a licensee that the Department intends to revoke the license. The licensee, now called the Respondent, has only 15 days from the date that the Accusation was served (not received, but served) to file a Notice of Defense. The failure to file a Notice of Defense results in a Default against the licensee. A Default will result in the immediate Revocation of the license.

An Accusation is a serious matter that can result in the suspension or revocation of a CDFA License in California. In many cases, it is possible for Licensees to reach a Stipulated Agreement with the California Attorney General’s Office and the California Department Food and Agriculture. A Stipulated Agreement is a formal term for a settlement agreement. If a Stipulated Agreement cannot be reached, the parties will proceed to a formal Hearing before the California Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). Licensees facing a California Department Food and Agriculture Accusation should contact an experienced California Department Food and Agriculture License Defense Attorney for representation.

California Department Food and Agriculture Hearing Attorney

The California Office of Administrative Hearings, also known as OAH, maintains several Court Hearing locations. These Court locations are in Los AngelesOaklandSacramento and San Diego. In some instances, Hearings may be held offsite in BakersfieldFresnoOrange CountyRiversideSan BernardinoSan FranciscoSan Jose or Ventura. The Administrative Law Hearing is a formal Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

The Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ, will issue a written Proposed Decision approximately 30 days after the Hearing. The California Department Food and Agriculture can adopt, modify or reject the ALJ’s Proposed Decision. The California Department Food and Agriculture action is called the Final Decision and Order. There are two main rights of Appeal of a Final Decision and Order. California Government Code § 11521 allows a licensee to file a Petition for Reconsideration prior to the effective date of the Final Decision and Order. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 1094.5, the licensee can also file a Petition for Writ of Mandamus in Superior Court. A Writ must be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the Final Decision and Order. California Licensees facing a California Department Food and Agriculture Administrative Law Hearing need effective representation from a California Department Food and Agriculture License Defense Lawyer.

California Department Food and Agriculture License and Criminal Convictions

The California Department Food and Agriculture can discipline licensees for criminal convictions. California Department Food and Agriculture discipline occurs for criminal convictions that are substantially related to the duties, functions and qualifications of a licensee. Common criminal offenses that can cause CDFA License discipline are:

  • Altering or Forging a Prescription
  • Assault With a Deadly Weapon
  • Battery
  • Brandishing a Firearm
  • Burglary
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Endangerment
  • Diverting a Controlled Substance
  • Domestic Violence
  • DUI
  • Elder Abuse
  • False Imprisonment
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Hit & Run
  • Identity Theft
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Medicare Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Public Intoxication
  • Real Estate Fraud
  • Robbery
  • Sex Offenses
  • Theft
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Vehicular Manslaughter

The California Department Food and Agriculture and other law enforcement agencies also investigate criminal conduct by Licensees in the course and scope of their practice. Criminal investigations often involve Licensees engaged in Violations of the California Food & Agriculture Code. In serious criminal cases against Licensees pending in Criminal Court, the California Department Food and Agriculture and the California Attorney General’s Office may seek a California Penal Code § 23 Order against the licensee. A California Penal Code § 23 Order seeks to suspend a CDFA License in Criminal Court.

Licensees facing criminal charges and Licensees who are convicted of criminal offenses need an experienced California Department Food and Agriculture License Defense Attorney for representation in disciplinary proceedings before the California Department Food and Agriculture.

CDFA Statement of Issues Attorney

The California Department Food and Agriculture thoroughly investigates all applicants for CDFA Licenses. Most California Department Food and Agriculture denials occur due to criminal convictions, financial problems or misstatements on the license application. Statement of Issues Hearings and Accusation Hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings maintain a similar procedure. However, in a Statement of Issues Hearing, the applicant bears the burden of proof. Individuals denied a CDFA License should contact a California Department Food and Agriculture License Denial Lawyer for representation in a California Department Food and Agriculture Statement of Issues Hearing.