Criminal Background Information / Florida Statutes

Notice for Initial Licensure Applicants and Renewals

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Effective July 1, 2017

Criminal Background

Criminal background checks and fingerprinting from an approved vendor are requirements for progression to the clinical education courses of the PTA Program.  Students will be provided this information at the appropriate time.

Applicants with felony and certain misdemeanor histories may be denied admission to clinical sites and/or licensure by the Florida Board of Physical Therapy.  Admission to clinical sites is at the discretion of the facility and these agencies may have different or more stringent limitations than those outlined below.  Students who are refused admission to clinical facilities will be unable to progress through the program and therefore be denied admission to the program if found to have a criminal history consistent with the Florida Statutes as listed below or other similar criminal justice system history.

Any student admitted to the program who has a criminal history including arrests or convictions (or are unsure of the status) must meet with the Program Director to discuss the criminal history and finalize admission to the program.  You may schedule a meeting with the Program Director by email at aevans@polk.edu or calling 863-669-2904.

Florida Statutes

Important notice for initial licensure applicants:

Pursuant to the 2017 Florida Statutes, Section 456.0635, effective July 1,  2017, health care boards or the department shall refuse to renew a license, certificate or registration, issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant has been, disqualified, pursuant to 456.0635 [emphasis added].

456.0635 Health care fraud; disqualification for license, certificate, or registration.—

(1) Health care fraud in the practice of a health care profession is prohibited.

(2) Each board within the jurisdiction of the department, or the department if there is no board, shall refuse to admit a candidate to any examination and refuse to issue a license, certificate, or  registration to any applicant if the candidate or applicant or any principal, officer, agent, managing employee, or affiliated person of the candidate or applicant:

(a) Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under chapter 409, chapter 817, or chapter 893, or a similar felony offense committed in another state or jurisdiction, unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a pretrial diversion or drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been  withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:

        1. For felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years before the date of application.
        2. For felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years before the date of application, except for felonies of the third degree under s. 893.13(6)(a).
        3. For felonies of the third degree under s. 893.13(6)(a), more than 5 years before the date of application;
    1. (b) Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970, or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended more than 15 years before the date of the application;

(c) Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to s. 409.913, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent 5 years;

(d) Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent 5 years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application; or

(e) Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities.

This subsection does not apply to an applicant for initial licensure, certification, or registration who was arrested or charged with a felony specified in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) before July 1, 2009.

(3) The department shall refuse to renew a license, certificate, or registration of any applicant if the applicant or any principal, officer, agent, managing employee, or affiliated person of the applicant:

(a) Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under chapter 409, chapter 817, or chapter 893, or a similar felony offense committed in another state or jurisdiction, unless the applicant is currently enrolled in a pretrial diversion or drug court program that allows the withdrawal of the plea for that felony upon successful completion of that program. Any such conviction or plea excludes the applicant from licensure renewal unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:

        1. For felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years before the date of application.
        2. For felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years before the date of application, except for felonies of the third degree under s. 893.13(6)(a).
        3. For felonies of the third degree under s. 893.13(6)(a), more than 5 years before the date of application.

(b) Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970, or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 since July 1, 2009, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended more than 15 years before the date of the application.

(c) Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to s. 409.913, unless the applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent 5 years.

(d) Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent 5 years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application.

(e) Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities. This subsection does not apply to an applicant for renewal of licensure, certification, or registration who was arrested or charged with a felony specified in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) before July 1, 2009.

(4) Licensed health care practitioners shall report allegations of health care fraud to the department, regardless of the practice setting in which the alleged health care fraud occurred.

(5) The acceptance by a licensing authority of a licensee’s relinquishment of a license which is offered in response to or anticipation of the filing of administrative charges alleging health care fraud or similar charges constitutes the permanent revocation of the license.  History.—s. 24, ch. 2009-223; s. 1, ch. 2012-64; s. 15, ch. 2016-230; s. 3, ch. 2017-41.

Please visit the Department of Health’s Medical Quality Assurance to review the specific provisions and any updates of this law, which will apply to any applicants for licensure, and potentially to licensees attempting to renew their licenses, if found to be in violation of this law.

If you believe that you may be impacted by this law or if you have a criminal record, obtain any court records applicable to a related infraction and consult with a qualified private attorney to determine the impact of the law on your circumstances. You are also advised to contact the Board of Physical Therapy Practice to determine how your criminal record may impact your ability to obtain a license to practice. The Board of Physical Therapy Practice can be reached at:

2020 Capital Circle, SE, BIN # CO5
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3255
Telephone: 850 488.0595
Fax: 850.414.6860