Arizona Behavioral Health Board Probation Attorney | Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Defense Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals
Probation from the Arizona Behavioral Health Board against the licenses of behavioral health professionals in Arizona is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the behavioral health professional do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (using alcohol, prescribing schedule drugs, seeing certain patients, etc.). The Arizona Behavioral Health Board can place behavioral health professionals on probation through:
- Consent Agreement with Probation
Behavioral health professionals who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the Arizona Behavioral Health Board for many different reasons. If the Arizona State Board determines formal licensing action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Behavioral Health Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, a defense attorney may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the behavioral health professional formal discipline. If monitoring is offered the professional will be monitored in the probation department.
Responding to Arizona Board Complaints and Investigations with a Lawyer
After receiving an Arizona Behavioral Health Board Complaint or self-report, a behavioral health professional receives a notice from the Arizona Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Behavioral Health Board assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected includes:
- Patient mental health records
- Employment files from the behavioral health professional’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Arizona Behavioral Health Board Disciplinary Actions
When a behavioral health professional is facing a complaint or investigation by their medical board, they may also face Arizona Behavioral Health Board Disciplinary Actions. Facing disciplinary action can have vast repercussions on a medical career. This can include license monitoring, suspension or revocation. It can also jeopardize employment. A behavioral health professional under investigation can face termination at their current job after receiving a complaint or after the Board initiates an investigation.
There are certain allegations that can cause a behavioral health professional to receive disciplinary action. These include:
- Improper record keeping
- Reporting false information
- Physical abuse of patients
- Sexual abuse of patients
- Criminal convictions
- Substance Abuse
- Disruptive Conduct
- Mental or emotional damage
Filing an Appeal after a Board Meeting
The investigatory process and the appeal process work like this: Once the Board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation. The purpose of this investigation is to give the ABHB evidence to make a decision on whether or not a behavioral health professional should face disciplinary action. If the behavioral health professional receives an unfavorable formal disciplinary decision, it is at this point, they can then file an appeal and request a hearing with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will then oversee the appeal and the behavioral health professional may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held with the appeals department (if requested).
AZ Administrative Appeals and Hearing for an Appellant
Any behavioral health professional licensee may request a legal appeal of Arizona Behavioral Health Board Discipline to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. The OAH hearing is conducted before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The administrative process is not as formal as a trial but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony against the department. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A behavioral health professional’s attorney can cross-examine witnesses and testify on their behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, and evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individual feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing from the boards.
What Current and Past Criminal Incidents Must You Report?
A felony must be reported within 10 days of being charged. The following types of misdemeanor or other criminal histories are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit, and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult, and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty, and Related Offenses
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge (in any state not just an Arizona criminal charge) within 10 business days is a violation of Arizona law and could result in disciplinary action with the Arizona Behavioral Health Board or specific related Committee.
Professional Mental Health Defense Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with a lawyer from Chelle Law today.