Arizona Respiratory Care Board Criminal Reporting | Criminal Consequences for an Respiratory Care Practitioner with the Arizona Board of Respiratory Care
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that acupuncturist licensees and applicants for a respiratory care practitioner license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Respiratory Care 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 Arizona Medical Practice Act and could result in Arizona Respiratory Care Board Probation.
What Current and Past Crimes Must a Respiratory Care Practitioner 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 Arizona Respiratory Care Board Probation.
DUI Effects on a License
Respiratory care practitioners who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s if state law allows a respiratory care professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Respiratory Care Board? The short answer is yes. An Arizona respiratory care practitioner DUI will not necessarily prevent a respiratory care practitioner 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 respiratory care professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Disclosing a Record for an Applicant
If a respiratory care practitioner 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 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 the respiratory care practitioner is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the respiratory care practitioner 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 care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Respiratory care Record and Convictions
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows a respiratory care professional with a felony criminal background or an arrest to get a license with the Arizona Respiratory Care Board? The short answer is, yes. An Arizona Felony for respiratory care practitioners will not necessarily prevent a respiratory care practitioner 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 respiratory care practitioner 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’s Respiratory Care Board, they must disclose a felony criminal court sentence (and other similar offenses) on their application. A respiratory care practitioner 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 respiratory care practitioner and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Medical Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the respiratory care professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the respiratory care practitioner has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put, Respiratory Care Boards want to know whether the respiratory care applicant can provide safe care.
Respiratory Care Board Probation Information
When a respiratory care practitioner faces Arizona Respiratory Care Board Probation the probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the respiratory care practitioners 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 Respiratory Care Board can place respiratory care practitioners on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Respiratory care practitioners who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the Arizona Respiratory Care Board for many different reasons. If the Respiratory Care 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 Arizona Respiratory Care 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 respiratory care practitioner formal discipline.
Arizona Respiratory Care Board Appeals
It’s always disappointing when a respiratory care practitioner receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Respiratory Care Board (“RCB“). However, respiratory care practitioners in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Respiratory Care Board appeals and hearings after a case is heard by the Board. If you are facing an unfavorable outcome due to an offered disciplinary action, consent agreement or order, you can always appeal the decision and request an administrative hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Filing an Appeal after a Respiratory Care 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 into the Arizona respiratory care practitioner license. The purpose of this investigation is to give the RCB evidence to make a decision on whether or not a respiratory care practitioner should face disciplinary action. If the respiratory care practitioner 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 respiratory care practitioner may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held (if requested).
Arizona State Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any respiratory care licensee may request a legal appeal of the Board’s 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 Arizona’s 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. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A respiratory care practitioner’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing by appealing the decision.
Arizona Board Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Respiratory Care Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.