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When should behavioral health professionals report an arrest?

Behavior health professionals here in Arizona and throughout the country provide vital services to their patients and the larger community. Vulnerable people place their trust and well-being in their hands.

All applicants for licensure and those behavioral health professionals currently holding licenses are required to report any misdemeanor or felony charge brought against them to the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners if the charge involves conduct that could be considered a threat to patient safety.

Following is a partial list of the type of offenses for which such reporting is mandatory:

Assault: This includes harmful or offensive contact, whether it resulted in injury or not. Examples include domestic violence, abuse, battery, threats, harassment, disorderly conduct, protective order violation and illegal weapons possession or sale.

Sex-related crimes: This includes rape, molestation, sexual abuse, harassment and misconduct, solicitation, indecent exposure, offenses involving children, crimes involving pornography, statutory rape and prostitution.

Exploitation, neglect or abuse of a child or vulnerable adult: This includes physical and emotional abuse, abandonment, endangerment, extortion and mistreatment.

Theft: This includes shoplifting, identify theft, taking property without permission, embezzlement, trespassing, looting, writing bad checks, receiving stolen property and looting.

Drug and alcohol-related crimes: This includes DUI, liquor law violations, public intoxication and drug offenses (including prescription fraud).

Fraud: This includes credit card fraud, welfare fraud, mail fraud and other fraudulent schemes as well as misrepresentation.

Animal abuse: This includes crimes "causing unjustified injury or death to an animal."

Arson: This includes crimes involving deliberately setting fires.

As you can see, this is a broad array of offenses, and it's only a partial list. If you've been arrested and you know or believe that you need to report the charge(s) to the Board, even if you believe the arrest was completely unjustified or a mistake on the part of law enforcement, it's essential that seek guidance as soon as possible from an Arizona professional license attorney. Whatever the eventual outcome of the arrest is, you don't want to run afoul of reporting requirements.

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