Arizona Board of Massage Therapy Criminal Reporting
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that massage therapist licensees and applicants for a massage therapist license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy within 10 working days after the charge is filed. A working day would be considered Monday through Friday.
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Practice Act and could result in Arizona Board of Massage Therapy Probation.
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported?
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 within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action which could result in Arizona Board of Massage Therapy Probation.
DUI Criminal History
Massage therapists who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s if state law allows a massage therapist professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Massage Therapy Board? The short answer is yes. An Arizona Massage Therapist DUI will not necessarily prevent a massage therapist from obtaining a license or a career in the health field. However, the Board (which handles all complaints) has a public policy (updated as of September 2020) on their website which covers the details of what circumstances massage therapist professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for an Applicant
If a massage therapist license applicant is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based upon the results of a health care fingerprint background check. The Board will then contact the massage therapy professional and initiate an investigation in their practice utilizing the law of the Arizona Practice Act (current as of October 2020). This license investigation determines whether the massage therapist is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the massage therapist has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. Simply, the Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe nursing care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Criminal Record and Convictions
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows a physical therapy professional with a felony criminal background to get a license with the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy? The short answer is, yes. An Arizona Felony for massage therapists will not necessarily prevent a massage therapist from obtaining a license or a career in the medical field. However, the Board has a public policy on their website which covers the details of under what circumstances a massage therapist with a case that resulted in a criminal sentence can get a license.
Criminal Charges for Massage Therapists with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy, they must disclose a felony criminal court sentence (and other similar offenses) on their application. A massage therapist must self report a felony no matter how much time or how many years have passed since the conviction. After self-reporting occurs, the Board contacts the massage therapist and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the massage therapist professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the massage therapist has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put, the Board wants to know whether the massage therapist applicant can provide safe nursing care.
Massage Therapy Board Probation
When a massage therapist faces Arizona Board of Massage Therapy Probation the probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the massage therapist to 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 Board of Massage Therapy can place massage therapists on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Massage therapists who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy for many different reasons. If the Massage Therapy 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 the Arizona Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Board of Massage Therapy 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 massage therapist formal discipline.
Massage Therapist Defense Attorney
The job of the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy is to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each person who holds a license as a massage therapist in the state of Arizona is able to practice safely. This means the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy has the authority to discipline the license of any massage therapist. Chelle Law’s Arizona Board of Massage Therapy Attorneys have represented over 1,000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards. Our attorney’s have the experience to help massage therapists with all Arizona Board of Massage Therapy matters, including:
- Massage Therapists
- School of Massage Therapy
Massage Therapist Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any licensee may request an appeal of an Arizona Board of Massage Therapy disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). In some instances, a case is sent automatically to hearing. The administrative hearing is conducted by OAH before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The hearing is not as formal as a trial, but is similar.
Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. They also give an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A massage therapist’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After the hearing, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, it’s ultimately the Board making 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.
Arizona Massage Therapist Disciplinary Actions
Arizona Board of Massage Therapy disciplinary actions are given to massage therapists with a license or certification in Arizona. If the Board determines formal disciplinary 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 the Arizona laws and regulations. Thus, at an Arizona Board of Massage Therapy Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the massage therapist formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:
- Advisory Letter
- Non-Disciplinary Order for Continuing Education
- Letter of Reprimand
- Decree of Censure
- Payment of Restitution
The attorney’s at Chelle Law assist massage therapists with interpreting Board policy (which is generally on the Board website). Our attorney’s help the healthcare workers and massage therapists with their application to show the Board the professional isn’t a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public and is able to provide safe patient care.
Arizona Board Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Board of Massage Therapy Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.