Arizona Fingerprint Board Hearing
Good Cause Exception
What is a good cause exception hearing?
When you apply for a fingerprint clearance card and have any criminal history, including arrest, you will likely be denied on your application, and you’ll have to ask for a good cause exception. When applying for your good cause exception, there are many parts to the application.
Applicant’s Requirements for a Good Cause Exception
You must attach your court documents and potentially police reports if your arrests happen within five years of applying for the good cause exception. You’ll also have to secure letters of reference and a personal statement. The board will take this application at expedited review and decide whether you should be granted a good cause exception and get your fingerprint clearance card or if they want to send your application to a hearing.
If they decide that it goes to a hearing, you usually have 45 days up until the hearing unless it gets continued for various reasons.
Within those 45 days, an administrative law judge will conduct a hearing at the Board of Fingerprinting in their offices. It’s an informal hearing. It’s just the judge. There are no attorneys, General, or no one representing the state or the board at that time; it’s just you, the judge, and potentially your attorney.
Your attorney can give opening and closing statements. They can ask you questions and present evidence as exhibits or attach them and hand those over to the judge so that they can consider those whenever they’re making their findings a fact. The hearing itself, as I mentioned, is informal. The judge can ask you questions. The rules of evidence don’t apply within the hearing, so you’re not going to be hearing your attorney objecting to things like relevance or hearsay. None of that applies to an administrative law hearing, specifically with a good cause exception hearing. As I said, the judges can ask you questions if they want anything clarified.
After the hearing, the judge will then make findings of fact and conclusions of law. And basically, what that means is they’re going to decide on what facts and determine if you should be granted a good cause exception. But even after they make their findings, they still have to send that to the Board of Fingerprinting, which will either uphold the judge’s ruling or grant your good cause exception. They may amend or reject it. That’s rare, but it can happen. You do have appealable rights if that does happen as well. But that’s the hearing process.
It is the longest part—after the hearing. As I said, it can take up to 80 days for the board to accept or reject the judge’s findings. So, it’s 20 days for expedited review, 45 days for a hearing, and 80 after the hearing. At the hearing, the judge will ensure you have all your documentation showing that you are not waiting for trial, have completed your sentence, and have been rehabilitated. That you’re taking responsibility for your actions and that these things aren’t happening again in the future.
I have seen hearings happen mainly when an arrest occurs, but you weren’t formally charged or in the middle of your case. You may be under probation or things like that where it’s not completed. Sometimes you can get a continuance for the hearing, but if you need your fingerprint card quickly, you may have to go forward with your hearing. And then the judge will want to know where you are in the case and if you have been rehabilitated. And is this going to happen again?
Are you facing an Arizona Fingerprint Board Hearing but don’t know what to expect?
Individuals who are denied a fingerprint clearance card or have had one suspended must apply for a good cause exception with the Arizona Fingerprint Board. If the initial expedited review of your good cause exception application is denied, the board will automatically forward the case to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
A good cause exception is initially rejected because there is a pending criminal case or you haven’t completed the terms of probation.
How you can end up in front of an Arizona Fingerprint Board Hearing:
- If you are denied your initial good cause exception or central registry exception.
- A criminal case is still pending an outcome.
- You are still completing probationary terms of your criminal conviction.
This hearing is at the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting, where you must physically appear. You will need to arrive at the time and date specified in your notice of hearing. You will appear in a conference room before the administrative law judge when the hearing begins.
The administrative law judge will then swear you in and ask questions about your case.
AZ State Fingerprint Board Hearing Topics Covered
- Your current or past criminal history.
- They’ll discuss why you were on the Central Registry (if applicable).
- Steps you have taken to rehabilitate or change your behavior.
- What are the probationary requirements you were asked to complete? They’ll want to know what you learned.
- Why you should be given a fingerprint clearance card
- Review of documents submitted
Contact us today if you’re interested in setting up a consultation with Chelle Law or learning more about Arizona Fingerprint Board Hearing.