Arizona Optometry Board Criminal Reporting: criminal consequences for an optometrist with the Arizona Board ofOptometry
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires thatoptometry licensees and applicants for anoptometrist license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the ArizonaOptometry Board 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 ArizonaMedical Practice Act and could result in ArizonaOptometry Board Probation.
What Current and Past Crimes Must anOptometrist Report to the State Board?
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 Medical Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action which could result in ArizonaOptometry Board Probation.
DUI Effects on a License
Optometrists who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s if state law allows an optometry professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona StateOptometry Board? The short answer is yes. An ArizonaOptometrist DUI will not necessarily prevent anoptometrist 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 circumstancesoptometry professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Disclosing a Record for an Applicant
If a medical 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 medical professional and initiate an investigation in their practice utilizing the law of the Arizona Medical Practice Act (current as of October 2020). This license investigation determines whether theoptometrist is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether theoptometrist 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 medical care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Optometrist Record and Convictions
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows a medical professional with a felony criminal background or an arrest to get a license with the ArizonaOptometry Board? The short answer is, yes. An Arizona Felony foroptometrists will not necessarily prevent anoptometrist 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 anoptometrist with a case that resulted in criminal records can get a license.
Criminal Charges and Behavior Analyst Rules with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona’sOptometry Board, they must disclose a felony criminal court sentence (and other similar offenses) on their application. Anoptometrist 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 theoptometrist and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Medical Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the medical professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether theoptometrist has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put,Optometry Boards want to know whether theoptometry applicant can provide safe medical care.
AthleticOptometry Probation Information
When anoptometrist faces ArizonaOptometry Board Probation the probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires theoptometrist 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 ArizonaOptometry Board can placeoptometrists on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Optometrists who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the ArizonaOptometry Board for many different reasons. If theOptometry Board determines notification of 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 Medical Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an ArizonaOptometry 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 theoptometrists formal discipline.
Arizona Board Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our ArizonaOptometry Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.