DBPR Complaints and Investigations

Did you get a letter from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) that its Division of Regulation received a complaint against you? The complaint might allege that you violated a law or rule governing a profession or business that the DBPR regulates.

For investigations in the Tampa Bay Area, individuals and businesses might receive a letter from an Investigation Specialist in the Tampa Regional Office of the DBPR which is located at 1313 N. Tampa St., Suite 915, Tampa, FL 33602.

Section 455.225 requires the Investigation Specialist with the DBPR’s Division of Regulation to send you a copy of the complaint that someone filed against you.

After you review the complaint, you may submit a written response. If you choose to respond, you must do so within 20 days after you receive the letter. You should include your case number in any correspondence to DBRP regarding the complaint.

When the investigation is completed, pursuant to Section 455.225(10), you may request in writing a copy of the entire file, and may respond to everything contained in the file within twenty days.

If the department’s legal staff or the Probable Cause Panel of the professional board reviews these matters to determine whether probable cause exists that the alleged violations occurred. If so, then the complaint and all the information obtained as part of the investigation become public ten days after probable cause is found. The goal is to convince the department that no probable cause exists so the case can be closed.

You have a right to representation by an attorney experienced in representing professionals and businesses in these types of investigations. In some cases, the complaint can best be resolved through informal mediation.

An experienced attorney can help you decide the best way to proceed at each stage of the case.

Attorney for DBRP Investigations in Tampa, FL

If the Division of Regulation at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) sends you notice of a complaint pending against you, then our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help.

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm are experienced in representing individuals and businesses under investigation by an Investigation Specialist in the Tampa Regional Office of the DBPR located at 1313 N. Tampa St., Suite 915, Tampa, FL 33602.

Our attorneys can review the complaint and file a written response with the assigned investigator. In some cases, the complaint to DBPR is best resolved through informal mediation. If so, we can represent you during the informal mediation process.

We represent individuals and businesses throughout the greater Tampa Bay Area including Hillsborough County, Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Polk County, FL.

Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.

Agreement to Voluntarily Relinquish License

In some cases, the Respondent might be asked to sign a “SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT TO VOLUNTARILY RELINQUISH LICENSE.” Keep in mind that if you sign such an agreement, you might never be able to get the license back in this or any other state.

The issue of signing a voluntary relinquishment agreement comes up often across all times of licenses including a real estate license or a medical license. The investigator might even suggest that you should sign a “voluntary relinquishment form.”

Before you sign a settlement agreement, contact an experienced attorney to find out the best options to resolve the case. Agreeing to voluntarily relinquish your license is rarely in your best interest.

What is the meaning of the term “voluntary relinquishment agreement”? The license holder that is responding to the complaint is identified in the agreement as the “Respondent.”

The agreement provides that the “Respondent” agrees to voluntarily relinquish the license to practice the profession in the State of Florida with the understanding that:

  1. The purpose of executing this agreement (“Voluntary Relinquishment”) is to avoid further administrative action with respect to the aforementioned case. Respondent understands that acceptance by the Board (“Board”) of this Voluntary Relinquishment shall be construed as disciplinary action against Respondent’s license pursuant to Section 455.227(1)(f), Florida Statutes. Licensing authorities in other states may impose discipline in their jurisdiction based on discipline taken in Florida.
  2. Respondent agrees to voluntarily cease practicing under the current license immediately upon executing this Voluntary Relinquishment. Respondent further agrees to refrain from the practice of the profession under the license number until such time as this Voluntary Relinquishment is presented to the Board and the Board accepts this Voluntary Relinquishment.
  3. Respondent shall have the right to reapply for licensure at any time following execution of this Voluntary Relinquishment by Respondent. Respondent acknowledges that the Board may deny any future application for any reason authorized by Chapters 455 and 476, Florida Statues, and the rules promulgated thereunder.
  4. In order to expedite consideration and resolution of this action by the Board in a public meeting, Respondent, being fully advised of the consequences of so doing, waives the statutory privilege of confidentiality of Section 455.225(10), Florida Statutes, and waives a determination of probable cause, by the Department when appropriate, pursuant to Section 455.225(4), Florida Statutes, regarding the complaint, the investigative report of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and all other information obtained pursuant to the Department’s investigation in the above-styled action. By signing this waiver, Respondent understands that the record and complaint become public record and remain public record and that this information is immediately accessible to the public. Section 455.225(10) Florida Statutes.
  5. Respondent shall pay investigative costs in an amount to be disclosed in the agreement. The amount is often less than $200. The investigative costs shall be paid within 30 days of acceptance of this Voluntary Relinquishment. The investigative costs shall be paid to the executive directory of the board with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) at the address listed in the agreement.
  6. Upon the Board’s acceptance of this Voluntary Relinquishment, Respondent agrees to waive all rights to seek judicial review of or to otherwise challenge or contest the validity of, this Voluntary Relinquishment and of the Final Order of the Board incorporating this Voluntary Relinquishment.
  7. Petitioner and Respondent agree that upon the Board’s acceptance of this Voluntary Relinquishment, each party shall bear its own attorney’s fees and costs related to the prosecution or defense of this matter.
  8. Respondent authorizes the Board to review and examine all investigative file materials concerning Respondent in connection with the Board’s consideration of this Voluntary Relinquishment. Respondent agrees that consideration of this Voluntary Relinquishment and other related materials by the Board shall not prejudice or preclude the Board, or any of its members, from further participation, consideration, or the resolution of these proceedings if the terms of this Voluntary Relinquishment are not accepted by the Board.

Additional Resources

Complaints with DBPR for Unlicensed Activity – Visit the DBPR website to find information on complaints against a licensee or an individual accused of performing an unlicensed activity. The DBPR can take disciplinary action which is administrative in nature. Those actions include license revocation, license suspension, probation, administrative costs, remedial education, restriction of practice, fine, or reprimand.

This article was last updated on Friday, August 5, 2022.