Domestic Violence and Fingerprint Clearance Cards

A domestic violence charge can have devastating consequences if you need a fingerprint clearance card for work. Even before you ever go to trial on your charge, you may receive a notification from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) that they have suspended your clearance card. Simply being accused of a domestic violence offense could cost you your job.

The law that governs fingerprint clearance cards states:

 A person who is awaiting trial on or who has been convicted of committing or attempting, soliciting, facilitating or conspiring to commit one or more of the following offenses in this state or the same or similar offenses in another state or jurisdiction is precluded from receiving a fingerprint clearance card, except that the person may petition the board of fingerprinting for a good cause exception pursuant to section 41-619.55:

 50. Offenses involving domestic violence.

 https://www.azleg.gov/ars/41/01758-03.htm

 

This means that being charged with a domestic violence offense makes you ineligible for a fingerprint clearance card. If you have a card, and DPS learns of the pending domestic violence charge, they will revoke your card. If you win your case at trial, or the case is otherwise dismissed, you are eligible to get your fingerprint clearance card back.

It can take months to get a misdemeanor domestic violence case to trial and even longer if it is a felony charge. During that time, you may not be able to work if your job requires you to hold fingerprint clearance.  

If you are a convicted, you may be able to request a good cause exception and obtain your fingerprint clearance card. However, the good cause exception is not available to those awaiting trial:

The board may grant a good cause exception at a hearing if the person shows to the board's satisfaction that the person is not awaiting trial on or has not been convicted of committing any of the offenses listed in section 41-1758.03, subsection B or section 41-1758.07, subsection B or that the person is successfully rehabilitated and is not a recidivist. 

 https://www.azleg.gov/ars/41/00619-55.htm

If you have a fingerprint clearance card and you are charged with a domestic violence offense, it is important to take action immediately. In order to get your card back, you must first resolve your case. If you win your case, you can petition DPS to restore your card because you do not have any conviction prohibiting you from having a card. If you lose your case, you must request a good cause exception and show the board that you have been successfully rehabilitated.

If you are facing a domestic violence charge, call us today for a free consultation.