How Long Does an Arizona Good Cause Exception Take?
But how long does an Arizona good cause exception take?
What is a Good Cause Exception?
A particular remedy that an applicant can use if their fingerprint clearance card was denied by the Arizona Department of Public Safety of a fingerprint because of past criminal history. The good cause exception can be used as a remedy to obtain a fingerprint clearance card. But, the time required to get a good cause exception varies in different circumstances.
The period needed for the good cause exception application process depends on various parameters. However, when the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting receives a complete application package and the criminal records we obtain from the DPS, the Board will perform an expedited review within twenty (20) days.
A period of seven (7) to ten (10) days will pass by to be able for the Board to get a hold of your criminal records as soon as they receive your application.
Fingerprint Clearance card
During the expedited review, the Board can grant your fingerprint clearance card or deny it, which automatically entitles you to a hearing. The process may add up to four (4) months if you must appear at a hearing.
Several factors may affect the processing of the application contain the following:
- If your application is complete upon submission: An incomplete submission will toll the processing period as the Board can only process it if there are requirements one has met or documents they must obtain first. Does it contain the necessary personal statement?
- The time needed to complete the application: The time it takes you to complete your application.
- Criminal Documents: Whether you have all of the necessary criminal documents.
The length of time can vary wildly depending on the factors listed above.
How Long Does it Take to Complete the Application?
So, you need a good cause exception if:
- You have your fingerprint clearance card and there is any criminal history, specifically an arrest. That is what gets flagged to the Board. It would be revoked if you currently have your card. And you would need a good cause exception.
- You are applying for a fingerprint clearance card, they would deny your application if you have any criminal history, specifically arrest. So then, you need to apply for a good cause exception.
How long does a good cause exception take in Arizona?
I would say, the longest part, usually for the good cause exception, is simply getting the court documents or police reports you need to complete the application. The application itself is straightforward.
However, your personal statement and explanation of the events of your criminal history can take a little while, but getting those actual court documents, especially if they’re out of state, can take months. That’s probably the most extended wait, and that’s before you even turn in your application.
So, if you need a good cause exception, I would immediately start requesting those court documents or contact our office. That’s something that we can handle as well. One of the most challenging parts is getting all your court documents and making sure they are official.
Good Cause Exception Expedited Review
But that can take a while. Like I said, even months. That is the most comprehensive process. Once you have those court documents and completed your good cause exception application, once you send that application to the Board, they have 20 days for an expedited review.
In the expedited review, I explained this in some other blogs. They’re going to look to make sure that you have all the court documents and that none of your criminal histories would be considered a precluded offense or substantially like that if it happened out of state.
They will also make sure that you are successfully rehabilitated. So, what have you done since this criminal history so that this won’t happen again? Again, that’s 20 days. Then the Board would grant a good cause exception or your application to a hearing.
If they get sent to a hearing department, so we have 20 days for expedited review. At that point, you could get your good cause exception, and they would give you your card. If not, and it goes to the hearing department, an additional 45 days for an administrative law judge to conduct a hearing for the good cause exception. So, you have 45 days. It could be shorter, but it is usually around 45 to show that hearing. You would go before the judge, you may have an attorney like one at our office represent you, or you can express yourself to explain your case. They may need supplemental documentation; possibly, your claim is still pending in court. And that’s why you must go to the hearing. There are several reasons, but as I said, that’s 45 days to the hearing.
After the hearing, you have a full 80 days for the judge to make their finding. If they believe you should be granted a good cause exception, the Board must accept, reject, or amend it. And that would have to pass through the Board. So, that’s within eighty days. The longest it can take for a good cause exception is 20 days for the expedited review, 45 days for the hearing, and after the hearing, 80 days for the Board to accept the judge’s findings.
As I said, it is a substantial weight if you get bumped to a hearing. When you’re filling out your application, it’s crucial that whenever you’re attaching those court documents or police reports, make sure they are official and that your papers show each stage of your incidents.
Denial of the Application
So, when you were arrested, what were you charged with? Were the charges dropped? Were you convicted? What were you sentenced to? And then, did you complete your sentence? There are many steps along the way, and you want to make sure you have complete documentation for all of those steps, so it leaves the Board with zero questions.
Also, it would be best if you showed that you have successfully rehabilitated and taken steps since this criminal history. And, of course, there are no precluded offenses. There is a list of those felons with violent crimes.
Anything where children are the victim or involved in a crime will likely be on the precluded offense. And it’s plausible that they would deny your application at the expedited review. However, you may go to a hearing. But typically, they’ll deny it in those 20 days.
If you wonder how long an Arizona good cause exception takes, contact Chelle Law, located in Pheonix, Arizona.