Business & Professions Code 6126(b) BPC
BPC 6126(b) – Practicing Law by an Inactive Member of the State Bar
Practicing Law by an Inactive Member of the State Bar – Table of Contents
- BPC 6126(b) Overview
- BPC 6126(b) Sentencing
- BPC 6126(b) Prosecution
- BPC 6126(b) Defenses
- Illegal Practice of Law – Hire Us
To legally practice law in California, one needs to be an active member of the California State Bar. This is just one of the many regulations set by the California State Bar. The California State Bar is responsible for setting statutory standards and ensuring anyone practicing law in California, does so ethically and professionally. Thus, under the California Business & Profession Code Section 6126(b), anyone who is an inactive member of the California State Bar and is practicing law is doing so without a license.
One is considered an inactive member of the State Bar according to the California Business & Profession Code 6126(b) if they were:
- Involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar,
- Their membership has been suspended or disbarred from the State Bar
- Resigned from the State Bar with criminal charges pending
Therefore, anyone who fits in the above categories and knowingly practices or tries to practice the law or advertises themselves as practicing or being able to practice the law is considered in violation of the California Business & Professions Code Section 6126(b) BPC.
Practice law by an inactive member of the state bar is regarded as a wobbler offense. Meaning the prosecutor can either charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case.
If charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant is likely to be sentenced to a maximum jail time of up to six months in county jail if convicted, and in some cases, the judge may grant the defendant misdemeanor probation instead of jail time.
On the other hand, if convicted for a felony for Business & Professions Code 6126(b) BPC, then the accused could be sentenced with:
- Up to three years in county jail.
- A maximum fine of $10,000,
- Formal probation
Crimes Related To Practice Of Law By An Inactive Member Of The State Bar
Unauthorized Practice Of Medicine – California Business and Professions Code Section 2052(a) BPC
Practice Of Law By A Non-Member Of The State Bar – California Business and Professions Code Section 6126(a) BPC.
For a person to be convicted for the practice of law by an inactive member of the state bar according to the Business & Professions Code 6126(b) BPC, the prosecutor has to prove the following elements without a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant has been involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar; has had their license suspended or disbarred, or has been resigned from the State Bar with pending criminal charges.
- The defendant practiced or attempted to practice law, advertised or held themselves as practicing or entitled to practice the law.
If the defendant is accused of practicing law without a license because of being involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar. Then the prosecutor also has to prove that the defendant had prior knowledge they had been involuntarily enrolled and subsequently practiced or attempted to practice, or advertised or held themselves out as practicing or entitled to practice the law.
The best way to defend yourself if faced with charges under Business & Professions Code 6126(b) BPC is to hire a criminal defense attorney. A defense lawyer has several strategies they can use to argue your case to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Some of these tactics include:
Didn’t Know They Couldn’t Practice Case
If an individual is being accused of practicing law without a license. Because they were involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the bar. They need to be aware of this for them to be charged under the Business & Profession Code 6126(b) BPC. If the defendant was not aware they had been labeled an inactive member, their lawyer can use this piece of information to get the defendant’s charges dropped.
Was Not Practicing Law
California does not have a specific way of defining what counts as practicing law. While some cases are usually more straightforward as they involve the traditional acts associated with being a lawyer, such as providing legal advice or counsel, putting together legal instruments, or carrying out legal services in court cases or litigation. Some cases, provide more wiggle room, like if the defendant was only serving as a legal assistant. Then they can claim they were not actually practicing the law without a license.
Being accused of practicing the law as an inactive member of the state bar, is a very serious offense. You must have a criminal defense lawyer like Seppi Esfandi to defend your case. Esfandi has had significant experience defending various attorneys and other professionals facing similar charges and will prove invaluable in helping you defend your case.
Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529
Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.
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