Criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine explains Florida law about who can and cannot legally open a medical clinic in the state.
West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew D. Stine is defending Malachi Love-Robinson, the 18 year old criminally charged with posing as a doctor. The full story will be told at trial, but in order to appreciate what is happening now, in this Palm Beach County criminal case that has captured national attention, you must first understand Florida law, as it applies to “who can open a clinic or a doctor’s office” in the State of Florida, and what a medical doctor does under his or her license.
In Florida, there is “No requirement” that the clinic, doctor’s office or other medical facility be owned and incorporated by a licensed medical doctor. As a matter of fact, there is no educational requirement in Florida for opening a clinic, doctor’s office or medical facility. Under Florida General Statute 458.327, the governing statute that defines
“practicing” medicine, not “owning a clinic or doctor’s office,” the law states that “a person who practices medicine must hold a valid Florida Doctor of Medicine License.”
As a matter of fact, the practicing medicine without a license statute reads in pertinent part that: A person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 if the person is involved in: (a) The practice of medicine or an attempt to practice medicine without a license to practice in Florida. (b) The use or attempted use of a license which is suspended or revoked to practice medicine. (c) Attempting to obtain or obtaining a license to practice medicine by knowing misrepresentation. (d) Attempting to obtain or obtaining a position as a medical practitioner or medical resident in a clinic or hospital through knowing misrepresentation of education, training, or experience. (e) Knowingly operating, owning, or managing a non registered pain-management clinic that is required to be registered with the Department of Health pursuant to s. 458.3265(1). (f) Dispensing a controlled substance listed in Schedule II or Schedule III in violation of s. 465.0276. But Florida law is silent as to who can own a clinic, doctor’s office or medical facility.
18-year old, Malachi Love-Robinson has adamantly denied that he ever practiced medicine in Palm Beach County, FL. As matter of fact, Malachi Love- Robinson denies all the criminal charges against him and explained that he owned the facility and never practiced medicine in any way shape or form. Owning a clinic, doctor’s office or other medical facility by an 18 year old with no medical license is “perfectly legal” in the State of Florida.
Here, the charges that have been brought against the 18 year old are borne from the fact that an undercover officer entered the clinic and asked for medical treatment for a sore throat. The undercover officer was told that there was no medical doctor on staff and she would have to come back. The undercover officer was told many times that there was no doctor on staff and to make an appointment when the doctor would be in at a later time to see her. But this advice to the law enforcement officer wasn’t followed, she did not take the orders to leave but insisted to do what she came there to do, and that is to have Malachi Love-Robinson led away in handcuffs. Because after all, an 18 year old black kid shouldn’t own much, let alone a medical clinic or doctor’s office so her sights were set on her target!
At no time did 18 year old Malachi Love-Robinson or any other worker at the clinic take any form of payment from the undercover officer. At no time did the undercover officer provide any form of insurance payment. At no time did Malachi Love-Robinson or any other staff members request payment in cash or request payment in any form of insurance from the undercover officer.
Moreover, what the facts show are wholly inconsistent with what any of us know from visiting a clinic or doctor’s office. Because when anyone of us visits a clinic or doctor’s office, the first thing that a patient must do is provide their insurance information and/or make a cash payment to the medical doctor before services are rendered. When was the last time anyone could remember walking into a doctor’s office and being treated without first giving the insurance information or cash payment to the doctor? When was the last time someone went into a doctor’s office and was told there is no doctor on staff, but insisted on having their weight and blood pressure taken with no doctor there? If you are told there is no doctor on staff, the prudent patient leaves and comes back! But not if you are an undercover detective who is trying to make a criminal case against an 18 year old man who’s trying to do the right thing. The right thing of following his dreams by owning a doctor’s clinic, which isn’t illegal for anyone to do, regardless of their educational status, race, creed or sex in the State of Florida!
Lastly, it is not illegal in Florida to have a non-doctor give general advice as to what “they would do” when they feel a certain way. As an example, haven’t you ever talked to friend, family member or even a stranger, who after explaining to you that they may be getting a sore throat, you suggest gargling with salt water or to take an over the counter sore throat remedy to help in healing the problem. Is this general advice illegal, as defined by practicing medicine without a license in the State of Florida? If this general advice of “what I do when I am getting a sore throat” were illegal, then all of us in Florida with be charged with practicing medicine without a license and this is just hogwash!
Stay tuned for updates as they become available in this nationally televised criminal case regarding an 18 year old posing as doctor. And remember, if you or a loved one are charged with a crime in Palm Beach County, Florida do like Malachi Love-Robinson and thousands of other clients have done contact West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew D. Stine at 561-880-4300. “Hire Stine or Do the Time!”
Click here to see the full story as reported on Inside Edition