Arizona Teacher Fingerprint Clearance Card Suspension | Arizona Fingerprinting Board
What happens when a teacher’s Fingerprint Clearance Card gets suspended?
Here in the state of Arizona, there’s a requirement for education professionals to have a Fingerprint Clearance Card.
This process is straightforward after you receive the card. However, suppose you’re under arrest within the state of Arizona. In that case, there’s a notification on the Board of Fingerprinting. Then, they may suspend your Fingerprint Clearance Card.
Well, what does card suspension mean for you?
Most school districts do have information in their employment contracts. If not, their teacher’s policy handbooks specify that you must notify the school if arrested or convicted of a crime. You also may be required to notify the State Board of Education directly, depending on the offense and the arrest. Still, the arrest itself will trigger a suspension of your Fingerprint Clearance Card.
Vital Information Regarding Card Suspension
Your card suspension can be detrimental to your employment with your school district. So, what happens after your card suspension?
If your card is under suspension, you can ask for a good cause exception or to lift the card suspension. Most of the time, you must prove the disposition of your case. That means dismissal of the charges or your criminal conviction and sentence to lift card suspension.
Suppose you provide all that information to the Fingerprint Clearance Card. The committee on the Board of Fingerprinting can do these on your card:
- Lift the card suspension
- Grant a reasonable cause exception
- May take it to a hearing where you would meet with an administrative law judge to discuss your case(to see whether to grant you an exception)
All the things to remember most are that if you have a Fingerprint Clearance Card here in Arizona, an arrest will trigger a card suspension. So, you want to be aware of that.
Also, as we talked about, you can ask for a good cause exception to lift card suspension or go to an administrative hearing to show the disposition of your case. That means done. Over with, there’s nothing pending. You’re not a danger to the children you would be working with, and that is the cause why you have your card.
Other topics of interest:
- Arizona Reporting of Teacher Criminal Convictions (ARS 13-3990)
- How Does a DUI Affect Your Arizona Teaching Certificate?
Can I Get a Fingerprint Clearance Card With a DUI?
Hold your horses! Did you get DUI offenses?
Driving under the influence (getting DUI offenses) is not a precluded offense. However, any individual who has obtained DUI offenses within five years of completing their fingerprint clearance card application will face regulation from driving as part of their employment. For example, an assistant coach cannot drive the football team members using the school district van. See ARS 41-1758.03 (d).
DUI Conviction Effect on Fingerprint Clearance Card
Let’s start from the beginning. Individuals must pass a background check with the Arizona DPS. This background check shows the board and DPS that there are no standing criminal charges or convictions.
Suppose an individual has an arrest on their record. Then, they must abide by the procedure. The process begins with authorities notifying the DPS of the arrest. Depending on the charge, if someone has a fingerprint clearance card, it can result in a card suspension or card restriction. Many must manage a card to have employment in their field.
Ergo, if they face fingerprint clearance card suspension, in that case, they will be unable to obtain employment in their specific position without the card.
Will your Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card affect a DUI charge or conviction? There are, in fact, other security clearances or professions that can face challenges if they receive a DUI conviction.
For example, a childcare professor or teacher needs a fingerprint clearance card. The law requires a restriction on the card. This card restriction being an individual cannot drive in the said capacity for a total of five years. If an arrest or conviction materializes, they’ll be unable to drive for five years from the time of the arrest, considering the card restriction. Worst case, the individual can part ways with their job.
Many individuals need to foresee the effect of conviction on the fingerprint clearance card. Even if it does not end up in card suspension, a card restriction can also harm somebody’s life. Simply put, the loss or limitation of the fingerprint clearance card can be severe.
Suppose you’re interested in learning more about if you can get a fingerprint clearance card with a DUI. Set a consultation with Chelle Law, and reach out to us today.
Teachers Who Have a DUI | Drunk Driving Teacher With DUI/DWI
In Arizona, receiving a criminal conviction for DUI offenses may also mean facing harsh penalties. Teachers with a DUI conviction can endanger their occupation—losing a job you love and one many depend on can represent a significant change in life. It is possible, however, to maintain your teaching credentials even if you get DUI offenses.
Fingerprint Clearance Cards for Teachers
Arizona requires teachers to have a Fingerprint Clearance Card because they work with children and young people. The card allows a person to work in a position of trust. If there are criminal convictions in the teacher’s background, they will get denied a card. If they already have a card when a criminal conviction occurs, they can have their card revoked or suspended. They can lose their job.
Conviction of a DUI
Once a criminal conviction occurs, you could lose your teaching certificate and get fired immediately. In some cases, you might be able to continue teaching, but you won’t be able to renew your contract. It will depend on the case itself.
DUI Offenses Impact on Teaching Profession
Suppose you get fired because of DUI offenses. Then it might not just affect your current job; it could also be that your future employment will also be affected. It can result in a bad financial situation. On top of this, a DUI will stay on your driving record. It might mean that you get prohibited from driving. It can make it difficult to get any job.
Many schools will terminate a teacher with DUI offenses because it shows the person as irresponsible and unprofessional. The poor decision-making evidence gives pause for the person to be allowed to teach children. However, no matter the consequences, teachers with DUI offenses must not withhold the information. Doing so can adversely affect current and future employment. It will undoubtedly get discovered.
Petition for Clearance Card Application Suspension
There are ways to keep your job. When charged with DUI offenses or having one on your record, you can petition to show that you qualify and are a safety risk for a fingerprint clearance card. You should be able to prevent the card from getting revoked or suspended. The same applies if there is an offense on your background check when requesting a fingerprint clearance card.
DUI convictions are severe and can affect a teacher’s life. When trying to restore your security clearance for a teaching job, it is best to hire an attorney to help with the matter. Contact us today to learn more about Chelle Law’s services or to set up a consultation.
Arizona Reporting of Teacher Criminal Convictions
What are the criminal reporting requirements for teachers in Arizona?
Suppose a teacher in Arizona holds a license and teaches at a public, private, or charter school. I’m speaking to grades K-12. Suppose you teach any of those grades and receive a conviction of criminal charges. In that case, the court will report your conviction to the State Board of Education.
They’ll hand over any of their findings of:
- Conclusions of law
- Anything that led up to your conviction
It is a requirement by Arizona Revised Statute 13-3990.
Educators Background Check Laws in Teaching
The court clerk will hand over those documents to the State Board of Education for any conviction. So, this is important to remember as an educator. Suppose this happens, and they pass it to the State Board of Education. In that case, it may be an act of unprofessional or immoral conduct.
That is especially anything having to do with a minor:
- If they’re a victim of the crime
- They get into danger, or any child or violent substance abuse
All of which would likely go under investigation by the State Board of Education.
It’s essential to report it yourself, but know that if there’s a conviction in Arizona, the court will send it directly to the State Board of Education.
Suppose you receive a sentence for a criminal act outside of the state. Then, you should look at those state laws and do some research, but you’ll likely have to self-report anyway. So, keep that in mind in the future.
Also, as I said, if the State Board of Education considers it potentially unprofessional or immoral, they’ll open an investigation. There are discipline guidelines for immoral or unprofessional conduct. You can negotiate a settlement and agree on the discipline, the findings of facts, and the conclusions of the law. Or if you decide you want to take it to a hearing with the Professional Practices Advisory Committee.
So, the takeaway from all these things is getting a conviction for a criminal act within Arizona. The court will forward all that information to the State Board of Education. An investigation will likely proceed with those findings.
Arizona Board of Education Complaints
One of Arizona’s most talked-about wrongful termination cases occurred in 2014 when a teacher claimed she got fired for defending one of her students against racist bullies. The Fountain Hills Unified School District fired her for threatening five school boys, who she found bullying an African-American student, despite working at the school for 25 years.
This case illustrates how much educators are under the spotlight as they undertake their everyday duties.
It also begs the question; what can teachers do when complaints get filed against them at the Arizona State Board of Education?
Today, the attorneys at Chelle Law highlight the role of the Arizona State Board of Education and why educators need legal help when they encounter challenges that put their licenses at risk. We appreciate educators’ role in shaping society, so we’re committed to ensuring they have a fair hearing at the Arizona Board of Education.
Our team also helps educators to negotiate and review information on their contracts.
What Is the Role of the Arizona State Board of Education?
Abbreviated as ASBE, this board got created by the Arizona Constitution. Its primary mandate is to regulate the conduct of the state’s public school system.
The ASBE comprises eleven members:
- The superintendent of public instruction.
- Four lay members.
- A chancellor or president of a community college district.
- The president of a state college or university.
- An owner or administrator of a charter school.
- A superintendent of a high school district.
- A county school superintendent.
- A classroom teacher.
In consultation with the state senate, the Arizona governor appoints all ASBE members except the superintendent of public instruction.
They serve for a term of four years, and their roles include:
Receiving Reports on Unprofessional or Immoral Conduct
The ASBE receives complaints about unprofessional or immoral conduct by certified and non-certified educators. After that, it opens investigations to determine whether the allegations constitute unprofessional or unbecoming conduct according to Arizona law.
If formal complaints prepared by the Attorney General’s office get filed, the educator under question will be accorded due process as required by law.
Sanctions imposed by the ASBE become part of an educator’s permanent record and often get forwarded to a federal database. If that happens, the educator in question may get barred from teaching anywhere in the country.
For this reason, it’s best to have an aggressive lawyer if a complaint is filed against you at the ASBE. At Chelle Law, we’ll defend your rights and ensure you get a fair hearing.
Educator Discipline and Oversight
Under the Arizona Administrative Code (AAC), Title 7, Chapter 2, Articles 7 and 13, the ASBE is required to maintain educator oversight and discipline. In line with this, the board investigates and imposes various disciplinary actions on certified and non-certified educators found to have involved themselves in misconduct.
The possible disciplinary actions by the ASBE after an Arizona teacher PPAC complaint hearing include censure, suspension, and license revocation.
The ASBE’s rules stipulate that Arizona educators who violate provisions of the state administrative code are deemed to have engaged in unprofessional or immoral conduct. Such educators are liable to be disciplined by the board as deemed fit.
However, the board can go overboard when handing disciplinary action or fail to listen to your side of the story. For this reason, you need an experienced teacher license defense lawyer to help guarantee the fair hearing you deserve.
What Is the Professional Practices Advisory Committee?
The PPAC is a sub-committee of the ASBE tasked with conducting hearings on certified and non-certified educators in cases concerning immoral or unprofessional conduct. The committee comprises nine members in two alternating groups.
During PPAC hearings, the committee may review the educators’ initial certification and certification renewal applications. It can also hear complaints filed against educators.
Once each complaint is heard, committee members will make findings of fact as per the law. The committee will then pass a recommendation to the board for the educator’s license to either get canceled or upheld. It may also recommend other disciplinary actions by the board.
If you have an upcoming PPAC hearing, you’ll undoubtedly be worried about possible consequences such as:
- Financial penalties
- Even license revocation.
The worst thing you can do is to go to the hearing alone. In this regard, you need a skilled license-defense attorney to represent you.
State of Arizona Educator Discipline Options?
Facing the ASBE puts your career and future at stake because you’re never too sure about the consequent disciplinary action. The sad part is that you might find yourself wrongly accused or summoned for offenses outside the classroom and beyond the school environment. For instance, driving under the influence can attract a summon.
If a minor complaint gets filed against you, the chances are you’ll only receive a warning letter from the board. In this case, you’ll still be able to maintain your teaching license, but the letter will be in the public record. More serious misconduct may attract a license suspension of one to three years, while severe misconduct can lead to permanent license revocation.
Get a Teacher License Defense Attorney
As an educator, your license is your life; having it suspended or revoked means you can’t earn a living. Your career will be in jeopardy, regardless if someone filed a complaint against you at the ASBE or your case is due at the PPAC.
At Chelle Law, our license defense team is there to advise you on the ASBE’s administrative process and what you should expect.
We have the expertise to investigate a complaint filed against you and build a robust defense strategy. Our goal is to secure the most favorable outcome in your case because we understand your license’s importance to you.
So, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation if someone filed a complaint ASBE and you need an aggressive educator license defense attorney.
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