Bill would increase penalties for unlicensed treatment of behavioral issues

TRENTON – People who treat various behavioral and mental health issues without appropriate licenses or certification could be guilty of a third-degree crime, according to an Assembly proposal.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday released legislation, A732, that would make it a crime to practice psychology, marriage and family therapy, chiropractic or state-certified psychoanalysis without the appropriate certification.

A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years in prison or a fine of up to $15,000 – or both.

Currently, unlicensed practicing of medicine, podiatry or dentistry is a third-degree crime, according to the bill.

The proposal cleared the committee with bipartisan support.

Adoptive parents

The committee also released legislation that would expand domestic violence protection to include adoptive parents.

The bill, A781, would amend the state’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 to include any parent of an adopted child who has been a victim of domestic violence by a person whose parental rights towards the adopted child have been terminated, according to the bill.

Proponents of the bill argued it would permit a parent of an adopted child to be afforded protections under the state’s domestic violence statute.

 

Bill would increase penalties for unlicensed treatment of behavioral issues