The State of Arizona requires that people who are engaged in certain activities and occupations maintain a valid fingerprint clearance card. Most notably, this includes teachers, nurses, pharmacists dentists, real estate professionals and physical therapists. The process essentially involves forwarding an application along with your fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety. A check of your criminal history will be completed and a fingerprint card issued if you are determined to qualify.
A domestic violence charge or conviction can have significant effects on your ability to remain employed in your chosen profession and earn a living. If you are arrested or charged with domestic violence, the department of Public Safety will be notified and your fingerprint clearance card will be suspended. Arizona law provides that a person who is awaiting trial or who has been convicted of an offense involving domestic violence is prohibited from receiving a fingerprint clearance card. The only caveat is that you can apply for a good cause exception and seek to have your fingerprint clearance card issued or reinstated.
Unfortunately, good cause exceptions to the denial or suspension of a fingerprint clearance card are generally not available while people are awaiting trial. Consequently, an domestic violence arrest or charge can result in a loss of employment while the case is pending. This is important as misdemeanor domestic violence charges in Arizona may take a minimum of several months to resolve while felony charges can take a year or longer.
If you are arrested or charged with Domestic Violence in Arizona, it is important to consult with a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer so that you can obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Aside from the loss of your fingerprint clearance card, domestic violence convictions can also result in mandatory probation, jail terms and even prison. An experienced attorney can help you restore your fingerprint clearance card should you be found not guilty or have your case dismissed and can guide you through a good cause exception application if you are convicted.
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