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California Financial License Defense Attorney

We defend licensed financial professionals in California

California Notary Public License Defense Attorney

California Secretary of State’s Office of Notary Public License Defense Lawyer

The California Secretary of State, known as SOS, licenses thousands of Notary Publics in the State of California. Most California Notary Publics have minimal or no contact with the enforcement arm of the California Secretary of State. For Notary Publics who become part of the California Secretary of State’s disciplinary process, the consequences are profound. The Notary Public License disciplinary process is complex, procedural and time consuming. Notary Publics facing the California Secretary of State disciplinary process should seek legal representation from an experienced California Notary Public License Defense Attorney.

California Secretary of State Investigation Defense Lawyer

The majority of California Secretary of State investigations begin with the filing of a consumer Complaint. However, California Secretary of State Investigations also occur through sting operations, criminal conviction referrals and criminal investigations. The California Secretary of State employs non sworn Enforcement Representatives to conduct non criminal investigations. The California Secretary of State’s Office of Consumer Affairs employs sworn Peace Officer Investigators to conduct criminal investigations against Notary Publics. 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 Secretary of State disciplinary process. At the conclusion of a California Secretary of State investigation, the Secretary of State’s Office has several options. The Secretary of State’s Office can choose to close the Complaint. The Secretary of State’s Office can choose to issue a Citation. The Secretary of State’s Office 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 Secretary of State’s Office may refer the case to the District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.

If you are a Notary Public Licensee facing a California Secretary of State investigation, contact a California Notary Public License Defense Attorney for representation.

California Notary Public License Accusation Defense Attorney

A formal Accusation served on a California Notary Public Licensee serves as notice to a Notary Public that the Secretary of State’s Office intends to revoke the Notary Publics’ License. The Notary Public, 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 Notary Public. A Default will result in the immediate Revocation of the Notary Publics’ License.

An Accusation is a serious matter that can result in the suspension or revocation of a Notary Public License in California. In many cases, it is possible for Notary Publics to reach a Stipulated Agreement with the Attorney General’s Office and California Secretary of State. 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).

Notary Publics facing a California Secretary of State Accusation should contact an experienced California Notary Public License Defense Attorney for representation.

California Notary Public License Hearing Attorney

The California Office of Administrative Hearings, also known as OAH, maintains several Court Hearing locations. These Court locations are in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego. In some instances, Hearings may be held offsite in Bakersfield, Fresno, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San 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 Secretary of State can adopt, modify or reject the ALJ’s Proposed Decision. The California Secretary of State’s 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 Notary Public 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 Notary Public 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 Notary Publics facing a California Secretary of State Administrative Law Hearing need effective representation from a California Notary Public License Defense Lawyer.

California Notary Public License and Criminal Convictions

The California Secretary of State can discipline Notary Publics for criminal convictions. California Secretary of State discipline occurs for convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude. Discipline also occurs for criminal convictions that are substantially related to the duties, functions and qualifications of a Notary Public. Common criminal offenses that can cause Notary Public License discipline are DUI, Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Fraud, Forgery, Identity Theft and Theft.

The California Secretary of State and other law enforcement agencies also investigate criminal conduct by Notary Publics in the course and scope of their trade. Criminal investigations often involve Notary Publics engaged in Elder Financial Abuse, Forgery and Fraud. In serious criminal cases against Notary Publics pending in Criminal Court, the California Secretary of State and the Secretary of State Legal Division may seek a California Penal Code § 23 Order against the Notary Public. A California Penal Code § 23 Order seeks to suspend a Notary Public License in Criminal Court.

Notary Publics facing criminal charges and Notary Publics who are convicted of criminal offenses need an experienced California Notary Public License Defense Attorney for representation in disciplinary proceedings before the California Secretary of State.

California Notary Public License Statement of Issues Attorney

The California Secretary of State thoroughly investigates all applicants for Notary Public Licenses. The California Secretary of State may deny a California Notary Public License for a variety of reasons. Most California Notary Public License denials occur due to criminal convictions, financial problems or misstatements on the Notary Public 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 Notary Public License should contact a California Notary Public License Denial Lawyer for representation in a California Secretary of State Statement of Issues Hearing.

California Notary Public License Petition for Reinstatement Lawyer

A Petition for Reinstatement allows Notary Publics who have received a Notary Public License Revocation to reinstate their License. The Petition for Reinstatement must show by clear and convincing evidence the factual and legal reasons to warrant the Notary Public License Reinstatement. Rehabilitation from past misconduct is the primary factor in a Petition for Reinstatement before the California Secretary of State. A successful Notary Public License Petition for Reinstatement requires representation by an experienced California Notary Public License Defense Attorney.