Who Needs an Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card?
Who needs an Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card? So, the latest data from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) states that in 2019, around 800,000 people had fingerprint clearance cards. And you would need a fingerprint clearance card because it is statutorily required that some employers make all their employees have one of those cards. And to get a fingerprint clearance card, you would apply to DPS, and then with your fingerprints, they would do a criminal background check, and then if something popped up, they would essentially deny it. And then you would have to file a good cause exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting and hope they would issue your fingerprint clearance card.
Two Types of Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card
There are two types of cards. You have the Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card, and then you have the Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card. Level 1 is harder to get and more challenging to keep, and several organizations require Level 1. Most of those would be organizations that involve childcare. To name a few, anyone applying for a childcare group home license, any childcare employees, childcare facilities, contractors, daycare home providers, the Division of Developmental Disabilities employees, so anyone working directly or around children can require the higher-level card. Now, if you are applying, what could stop you from getting the card? The board has several precluded offenses, which means if somebody has a specific criminal conviction in their past, they may be prevented from getting a card, meaning they will never get one under any circumstances.
Applying for A Good Cause Exception
There’s no appeal that we could even do for you. That is listed within the Arizona Revised Statutes. And then they also have a list of offenses that don’t necessarily stop you from getting the card, but you would have to make a good cause exception and then get it granted through the Board of Fingerprinting. There is one other scenario where you would have to, I guess, go through the Board of Fingerprinting, and that’s for a central registry exception. There are some other and similar organizations that when they do a background check, and someone has been placed on the central registry, which is through child services, if they have some substantiated abuse claim in their past, they will have to apply for a central registry exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. Then they would have to have the central registry exception granted before getting employment with that agency.
It’s not a complicated process to get either a good cause exception or a central registry exception. And most of the time, it’s granted. The only time where it’s, I guess, a little more complicated is if you have a pending criminal charge or a recent one where you’re still on probation. Suppose your license or fingerprint clearance card was suspended or denied because of a recent criminal incident. In that case, they will not grant it, most likely during an expedited review, where they decide within 20 days. They’ll forward it to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Suppose that judge believes you are not entirely rehabilitated, or there isn’t even a criminal decision. In that case, they may deny it, and then you’d have to reapply once circumstances have changed. So, that’s who needs a card. Anyone involving a vulnerable population, and if the employer is required to run the check, that’s who needs the card. And then there are, as I said before, two types of cards. You have Level 1 and just the standard card.
Arizona Fingerprint Card Denial
One valid reason for an applicant for a fingerprint clearance card to receive an Arizona Fingerprint Card Denial is past criminal incidents (this includes convictions in other states beside Arizona). An applicant for an Arizona fingerprint clearance card with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) will assess the state and federal criminal history record and contrast it with the list of precluded offenses; if the offense is included in the list, DPS automatically denies such application.
Automatic Denial of Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card
DENIAL: Individuals submit an application to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) with the fingerprint imprint. This 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. In the event there are arrests on your record, DPS counter-checks your criminal convictions with the list that can cause possible denial of your clearance card. Some of these include theft, drug offenses, homicide, assault, and more. These are “precluded offenses.” In the event a person’s criminal record has precluded offenses, DPS works to find out if the disposition is dismissal, conviction or default.
Good Cause Exception Fingerprint Card AZ
If you have been convicted of a crime not listed above (depending on the offense or offenses) for which you were denied, you MAY be eligible to pursue a good cause exception through the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. The Arizona Board of Fingerprinting is a separate and distinct entity from DPS. It is safe to say that DPS will not respond to any queries you may have regarding the good cause exception process. When you receive the denial notice from DPS, the Board of Fingerprinting’s contact information will appear therein. If you are still denied a clearance card after an expedited review the next step would be to request a hearing (similar to the process if your fingerprint clearance card is suspended).
Fingerprint Card Criminal History
The Board applies the following criteria to the particular circumstances of your case and Arizona Fingerprint Card Criminal History when determining a good cause exception. The Board also considers any substantiated allegations of minor child abuse or neglect made by Child Protective Services or a similar child welfare agency in another state. The Board must consider all of the following criteria in determining good-cause if initially denied:
- The extent of the person’s criminal record and offenses (misdemeanor or felony).
- Length of time since the offense.
- The nature of the crimes committed (some sexual crimes can preclude getting a card).
- Any applicable mitigating circumstances.
- The degree to which the person participated in the offense.
- The extent of the person’s rehabilitation (for instance, from drug possession), including:
- Completion of probation, parole or community supervision (like involving alcohol awareness for a DUI).
- Whether the person paid restitution or other compensation for the offense (like property damage during domestic violence).
- Evidence of positive action and use of resources to change criminal behavior, such as completion of a drug treatment program or counseling.
- Personal references attesting to the person’s rehabilitation without exception.
Clearance Card Application Attorney
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.