A Texas Fingerprint Based Criminal History is required by the Texas Department of Public Safety because they are concerned with protecting the public by ensuring healthcare professionals are cleared through fingerprint-based criminal history checks. Texas law authorizes these checks for professionals, such as child care providers, nurses and teachers. Public safety depends on fast accurate checks as a condition of licensure, certification or employment.
What is a Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Search?
A criminal history search using fingerprints is an accurate method for getting past criminal records. The search finds records based on fingerprints that match those within the records. In fact, it is the most accurate method and much different than searching by name, which can come up with a number of candidates with similar names.
How to Obtain a Criminal History Record Check
In order to obtain a criminal history check that is fingerprint-based, the applicant will need to go to a Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) service center. Details on the FAST program can be found by contacting the Texas Department of Safety Fingerprint Services Unit. Be advised that old fingerprint cards cannot be used because the fingerprint info cannot be more than six months old. When applicants go to a FAST location, they will need to know the service code provided by their employing or licensing agency, have their driver’s license or other identification and a form of payment. To find a FAST location, go to the IdentoGO website.
When a License is Denied
When a Texas Professional Licensing Board has determined that there is a reason that an applicant should not have a license, they can deny the licensure to practice in Texas. There are a number of reasons why a license can be denied, one of which being that there are felonies and misdemeanors in the applicant’s background. These come to light when a fingerprint-based criminal history check is done. However, the applicant whose licenses are denied have the right to appeal in Texas.
Getting a License Reinstated
When a Texas license is revoked, the professional still has the opportunity to request that it get reinstated. Certain criteria must be met that show that the professional is fit to practice safely. Unfortunately, there is a one-year wait after the license has been revoked or surrendered before the applicant can petition for reinstatement of license.
Along with the petition, the documentation needed may include but is not necessarily limited to:
- Written verification of compliance or completion of probation or parole
- Copies of any disciplinary actions against the license other than that by the Board
- Three or more letters of reference from current and former employees
- Documents that verify attendance of a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education
Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings
When the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings receives the petition for reinstatement, it may work out a time for an informal conference. The applicant will meet with the panel who consider the petition. If the panel denies the petition for reinstatement, the nurse can then request a public hearing. That hearing will be before an administrative law judge.
Expungement of Records
Applicants will want to get any court information or arrest records removed from their criminal history. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure has provisions which allow for the expungement of records such as criminal history information, court records or arrest records. The person wishing to expunge the records needs to first obtain copies then seek advice from a licensed attorney to see if eligible to have the records expunged.
Orders of Nondisclosure
One of the Texas Government Codes allows for individuals to get an order of nondisclosure when they have completed community services or probation orders from a court. A nondisclosure order prohibits agencies from disclosing the criminal history record of an offense. Again, seeking the advice of an attorney is important here to see if the individual is eligible.
Individuals in Texas have the right to have an attorney represent them at any stage of a petition for reinstatement. If denied clearance in a fingerprint-based criminal history check, contact Chelle Law to get assistance in appealing the decision.
If you have questions about your Texas Fingerprint Based Criminal History and would like to learn more about the services we offer contact Chelle Law today.