How Do I Get an Arizona Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card?
Processing your Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card
How do you get a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card in Arizona?
Let’s break down the process.
Many people will apply for jobs, and many state positions or positions dealing with vulnerable adults or children will require that the employee has a valid Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card. To start the process, you must take your fingerprints and apply for a fingerprint clearance card with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).
You would submit the fingerprint card you have taken, and then they will do a background check. Depending on your criminal history, they can issue the card with no problem. If you have a concerning criminal record, they will deny the fingerprint clearance card.
And then, you would have to apply for a good cause exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting.
There is a difference between a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card and a Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card. There is a list of precluded offenses, and these are simply crimes, for if you’ve been convicted in the past, you will not be able to get a fingerprint clearance card no matter what, standard or Level 1.
There is another set of crimes: you would immediately be issued the fingerprint clearance card without any issues. Then a third where even though you could get a Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card with those crimes in your past, if you’re applying for a Level 1 card, you would ultimately have to get the good cause exception.
Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card Obtaining
To summarize that part, you get the fingerprints taken, apply to the Department of Public Safety in Arizona, and depending on your past, it’ll get issued if you have no criminal history.
If you do it via paper application, it’s usually issued within ten days.
If you do it via an electronic application, usually it’s like two or three days at the most. If you have some crimes in your past, that can add 30 days to the process.
Then, if you’re applying for the Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card and you have certain convictions in your past, you would have to apply for the good cause exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. I know the process varies greatly. It can take anywhere from two to three days to six months, depending on how many criminal incidents you have in your past and then what they were.
If you have to apply for a good cause exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting, that will usually last no more than 20 days, and they’ll have an expedited review.
We found that the only cases where your expedited review is denied and sent to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge are if you are currently on probation or have pending criminal charges. Either you haven’t reached a plea, haven’t gone to trial, or haven’t been dismissed. Pretty much any other criminal incident is over with and has completed probationary requirements.
I almost can’t recall a case we’ve had where they sent that to a hearing. Most of the time, you’ll know within 20 days if you are granted the good cause exception or not. If it goes to a hearing, it can add three to four months to the process. It can take a long time. Anyway, that’s how you would get a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card in Arizona.
Denial of Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card Application
DENIAL: Individuals submit their applications to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) with the fingerprint imprint. It happens regardless of if it’s a Level I fingerprint clearance card or a standard fingerprint clearance. DPS then conducts a background investigation on your criminal history statewide and nationwide. If there are arrests on your record, DPS counter-checks your criminal convictions with the list that can cause a possible denial of your clearance card.
These include theft, drug offenses, homicide, assault, and more. These are “precluded offenses.” If a person’s criminal record has precluded offenses, DPS determines whether the disposition is dismissal, conviction, or default.
If there is a conviction: DPS will deny the fingerprint clearance card without the chance to appeal.
Often, the criminal record doesn’t specify the type of disposition. When this happens, DPS performs thorough research with the help of different law enforcement agencies. It allows them to know how the case became final.
Within 30 days after the investigation, and DPS still does not know such disposition, there will be a DENIAL of the fingerprint card. Almost all denials still have a remedy of applying to the Board of Fingerprinting for a good cause exception.
Fingerprint Card Attorney Services with Chelle Law
If you would like to set up a consultation with Chelle Law or learn more about the services our Arizona Fingerprint Card Attorney provides, reach out to us today.