When seeking employment as a teacher in Arizona, applying for (and acquiring) a fingerprint clearance card will be necessary. This laminated card verifies someone can be legally employed because there is a lack of a criminal background.
What is a Fingerprint Clearance Card?
A fingerprint clearance card is a security clearance for certain jobs in Arizona. To obtain this card, you must apply through the Fingerprint Division of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. This organization then conducts a thorough background check onto determine if you are qualified to work with vulnerable people. If there are no past offenses, you can then obtain a clearance card.
Teachers work with vulnerable children and young people, therefore they need a fingerprint card. Having a fingerprint clearance card shows you are allowed to hold a position of trust. However, should you ever be charged or convicted of a crime you must understand the importance of self-reporting. If you do not self-report you could face clearance card suspension, revocation and even card denial. Without a fingerprint clearance card you then stand the risk of losing your job. Periodically, the state also checks into a teacher’s status to update records and ensure the security clearance is being maintained.
Applying for a Fingerprint Clearance Card for Teaching
If you are applying for a fingerprint clearance card for a teaching position there are a few things you must keep in mind. If your are applying for a renewal of a certificate or for additional certificates you must not only have a valid fingerprint card, but must also provide proof of submission of application for a card. You should always uphold your security clearance do what is necessary to keep your fingerprint clearance card in good standing. Without a fingerprint card, as mentioned above, you could lose your job.
Fingerprint Clearance Card Denial
If you have a criminal offense in your past it may be a cause for fingerprint clearance card denial. However, when offences are discovered on a person’s record this doesn’t always necessarily mean instant denial. How exactly does it work? Like this, DPS looks at records to see the disposition of the case, such as if there was a dismissal or conviction. If there is a conviction, the card will certainly be denied.
Examples of some offenses that can prevent someone from getting a card include:
- Child Abuse
- Welfare fraud
- Possession of controlled substances
- Use of any controlled substances
It is important to note that even when denied a fingerprint clearance card, the person can still petition for what is called a Good Cause Exception.
Good Cause Exception
A Good Cause Exception can clear a person to obtain a fingerprint card even if offenses were found in their background check. A few offenses, such as for someone awaiting trial on or who was convicted of committing sexual conduct with a minor, would not allow you to qualify for good cause exception or an appeal. The Arizona State Legislature home page has links to view the State Statutes to see what qualifies and what doesn’t.
If your fingerprint card is denied, during the process of applying for Good Cause Exception, you must prove you deserves to obtain the clearance card. You must also show that the obstacles that led to your charge or conviction are no longer present.
Whether you’re applying for fingerprint clearance card or for good cause exception, the process can be tricky. Having legal counsel can help you in compiling the necessary information, as well as help you to obtain the necessary clearance card for your teaching profession.
If you have questions about obtaining or keeping a fingerprint clearance card, contact Chelle Law today.