Even if the applicant has a criminal history the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting may still issue the fingerprint clearance card (including Level I) if the applicant applies for and is granted a Good Cause Exception after an application is submitted. The applicant has strict good cause exception guidelines with the Board to follow in order to win an appeal or face a hearing from a DES fingerprint card denial or if it is suspended and fingerprint clearance.
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Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card (including Level I) Criminal History
The Board applies the following criteria to the particular circumstances of your case and 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.
Necessary Components of a Good Cause Exception Application
Below are the necessary components of the application package with the Board and needed forms for applicants:
- APPLICATION FORM. Individuals looking for good cause exception need to complete the full application listed on the Board’s website. This means answering all questions. Moreover, it requires a statement from the applicant. as well as each arrest on one’s criminal record. Within the form you can also mention any positive lifestyle changes. Remember to sign the form and have it notarized without exception.
- LETTERS OF REFERENCE COMING FROM TWO SOURCES. Good Cause Exception Applicants must have letters of reference from two sources. Letters of reference: be done by someone who has known the applicant for a minimum of one (1) year. An applicant’s current employer or someone who has known the applicant for a period of three (3) years can also complete a form. Please take note, there is a minimum of two (2) letters of reference that must be completed.
- EVIDENCE THAT APPLICANT HAS COMPLETED HIS SENTENCING TERMS. An applicant must prove to the Board they have completed his/her sentencing terms. It may either be probation, pardon, parole, restitution, counseling, educational service classes, incarceration, or community service. Applicant must supply a document evidencing its completion. Note: In the event that the applicant has not completed the sentencing requirements, the former should furnish a written statement such progress accomplished. This includes a Personal Statement describing each incident.
- POLICE REPORTS. Applicants must provide a police report to the Board for each arrest that has occurred within five (5) years from the denial or suspension of the fingerprint clearance. Even if the arrest did not manifest in the DPS letter regardless of conviction it must be included. Please note, this may not be applicable for all applicants.
- DISPOSITION INFORMATION. In the event that the applicant’s suspension or denial letter indicated that DPS could not look for the disposition of an arrest, applicant must provide a court documentation specifying such disposition to the Board. In the event that the applicant contacts the proper court, and states it has no record, the former should obtain a written statement from the court indicating it has no record.
- ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES / CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES. It’s mandatory for applicants to disclose whether they have a standing allegation of abuse and/or neglect of child or adult. In Arizona, the child-welfare agency is more commonly known as Child Protective Services (CPS), and the adult counterpart is Adult Protective Services (APS). If the applicant has an allegation of child or adult abuse/neglect, the applicant must contact CPS or APS. Once you contact one of the agencies you must request a copy of the final report on the allegation. Copies and explanations of the allegations are sent to the Board.
Length of Good Cause Exception with the Board
The length of the good-cause process depends on a number of factors. However, from the time the Board receives a complete application package and court documents, the Board will conduct an expedited review within 20 days. Take note, if applying for licensure with another Board.
Arizona Expedited Review for Clearance
At the expedited review, the Board will either grant you a fingerprint clearance card or schedule you for a good cause exception hearing. If you must appear at a hearing, the process may take an additional three to four months. Other factors that may affect the length of processing time include the following, among others.
- Whether your good-cause exception application is complete on submission. Incomplete applications will delay your appeal.
- The amount of time you spend completing your good cause exception application.
Administrative Hearing Process
If you’re interested in setting up a consultation with Chelle Law or learning more about the exception for fingerprint cards process reach out to us today.