Arizona Central Registry Exception
A Central Registry Exception is for individuals listed on the CPS central registry. After receiving an application, the Board will conduct an expedited review. The Arizona Board of Fingerprinting determines whether to grant a central registry exception within twenty days of receiving the application.
Chelle Law Fingerprint Clearance Card hearing lawyers handle Arizona Central Registry Exception applications with the Arizona Fingerprint Board.
What is the Arizona Central Registry Exception?
What is the Arizona Central Registry Exception?
The Arizona Central Registry is essentially a database of individuals in Arizona that have substantiated claims of abuse or neglect of children through the DCS (Department of Child Services) in Arizona. Suppose you’ve had criminal convictions for similar incidents, abuse, or neglect of children. In that case, you’ll be placed on the Central Registry.
In Arizona, specific jobs require a background check, including a search of the Arizona Central Registry. Suppose you’re going to apply for a job requiring a background check, and you have substantiated claims of abuse or neglect or have had criminal convictions for the same of children. That job cannot hire you unless you get a Central Registry exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting.
Next, how would you apply for the Central Registry exception with the Board? The Board will want the documents associated with the substantiated claim to make the process as simple as possible. If there’s a criminal conviction, they need the court documents, the police records—that type of thing. Ultimately, the Board wants to know that if these things happened, the individual has been rehabilitated to some extent so that the Board feels comfortable allowing them to be around vulnerable children.
There are some crimes for which you cannot get a good cause exception, and you’ll never be granted a central registry exception. They have a list on the website with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. It’s in the Arizona Revised Statutes of what’s called precluded offenses.
Essentially, there are crimes that you can appeal with the central registry exception or good cause exception. And there are crimes where you will never get a fingerprint clearance card. Let’s break that down. If you did have a crime that put you on the Central Registry and is considered a precluded offense that completely stops you from ever getting a card, you’re out of luck.
However, if you are put on the list for not a crime, but there was a child services investigation, and they substantiated a claim of abuse or neglect, that would be the situation where you would be able to apply for the Central Registry exception with the Board of Fingerprinting.
If nothing has happened since that time, meaning there has been no rehabilitation at all, you haven’t gone to counseling, haven’t done therapy or ethics training, or you have never been able to get custody of the child involved, that type of thing. It’s going to be very difficult to get the central registry exception. These are rare, to be honest.
Most of the time, if someone does have a substantiated claim of abuse or neglect in their past, they’ll avoid applying for jobs where the Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card is necessary. However, a few want to go through with it, and that’s what this process is for.
So, that’s what a central registry exception is in Arizona.
Arizona Central Registry Board Hearing
The Board may grant a central registry exception at a hearing if the individual can show the Board they have successfully rehabilitated. The Board may also consider the person’s criminal record when determining whether or not a person has been rehabilitated.
After the hearing, the Board will either grant or deny a central registry exception. It usually happens within eighty days after the hearing.
Central Registry Hearing Factors
Before granting a central registry exception at a hearing, the Board considers any and all of the following:
1. Extent of the person’s central registry records.
2. Length of time that elapsed since the abuse or neglect occurred.
3. The nature of the abuse or neglect.
4. Any relevant mitigating circumstances.
5. The degree to which the person participated in the abuse or neglect.
6. The extent of the person’s rehabilitation, including:
- Evidence of positive action to change the person’s behavior. It can include completing counseling, drug treatment, domestic violence counseling, or a parenting program.
- Personal references attesting to the person’s rehabilitation.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The length of the process can depend on some factors. Here’s how the process usually works. Once the Board receives a complete application package, they conduct an expedited review. It usually occurs within 20 days of receiving the package and criminal records from the DPS.
At the expedited review, the Board either grants you a fingerprint clearance card or schedules you for a hearing. If you must appear at a hearing, the process may take additional three to four months.
Factors affecting the length of processing time include:
- Whether your application is complete on submission. An incomplete application package will delay your appeal.
- The amount of time you spend completing your application.
Good Cause Exception
Applicants will have the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting assess their Good Cause Exception application. To do this, they must comply with a reasonably comprehensive application package. Failure to understand good cause exception application requirements or to submit a complete application package will delay the process. It can also ultimately result in the denial of your application.
The necessary components of an application package
- Application Form. Applicants should answer ALL of the questions. It will require a statement from the applicant and each arrest embedded in one’s criminal record. The applicant may also include a description of lifestyle changes. Once complete, have the document signed and notarized.
- Letter of Reference Coming From Two Sources. The Board will supplement these forms, which the applicant must then complete. The Board will expect applicants to provide a minimum of two completed forms.
- Reference requirements:
- The individual must know the applicant for a minimum of one (1) year. Must be qualified to write a letter of reference.
- A current employer or someone who has known the applicant for three (3) years may complete the second form. These individuals should also be qualified to write a letter of reference.
- Evidence Applicant Has Completed Sentencing Terms. The applicant must prove their sentencing terms are complete. It can be probation, pardon, parole, restitution, counseling, educational service classes, incarceration, or community service. The applicant will also need to supply a document evidencing its completion. If sentencing requirements still need to be completed, the applicant may provide written statements about such progress accomplished.
- Police reports. It may only apply to some applicants. However, the Board may ask some to provide a police report for each arrest occurring within five (5) years of fingerprint clearance’s denial (or suspension). Applicants must do this even if:
- The arrest did not manifest in the DPS letter.
- Regardless of conviction.
- Disposition Information. Should an applicant’s suspension or denial letter indicate the DPS cannot look for the disposition of an arrest, an applicant will need to provide court documentation specifying such disposition. Should the applicant contact the proper court and it states it has no record, they will need to obtain a statement from the court indicating it has no record.
- Adult Protective Services / Child Protective Services: It’s a mandatory requirement all applicants disclose they have a standing allegation of abuse and/or neglect of a child or adult, whether it leads to criminal charges or not. Suppose the applicant has an allegation relating to a child or adult abuse/neglect. In that case, the applicant must then contact Child Protective Services (“CPS”) or Adult Protective Services (“APSF”) to request a copy of the final report on such an allegation. It will need to be submitted to the Board and paired with a written explanation of such an allegation.
Lawyer for Fingerprint Clearance Card
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