How Does a DUI Affect Fingerprint Clearance Cards?

A fingerprint clearance card is an important credential required for many jobs and professions in Arizona. A DUI conviction can impact the status of your fingerprint clearance, and potentially the type of work you can perform.

A fingerprint clearance card is a document issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety as a condition of employment or licensure. When an application for a fingerprint clearance card is received, the state reviews federal and state records for any history of arrest. A clear record usually results in issuance of a clearance card.

There are different levels of fingerprint clearances that relate to a large number of professions in our state. A Level 1 clearance card is more restrictive, and required for anyone providing child care or for employees of certain state agencies. Many positions involving healthcare, real estate, teaching, nursing, and the military require fingerprint clearance cards. Non-professional and volunteer positions may also require clearance cards.

Can you get a fingerprint clearance card with a DUI conviction?

Individuals who are awaiting trial or convicted on serious criminal charges cannot usually be issued fingerprint clearance cards. For some professions, like a teacher, a DUI conviction usually does not mean that you cannot obtain a fingerprint clearance card. If the conviction was for an aggravated DUI, however, you will probably not qualify for a Level 1 clearance card, even if it is required for you to remain employed.

It is important to note that while a DUI conviction may not prohibit you from receiving a fingerprint clearance card, it will result in a restriction on that card that prohibits you from driving others as a condition of your employment. For example, if your job is to transport students, clients, or others for your employer, you would not be cleared for that activity for a period of five years.

If you currently have a fingerprint clearance card and are arrested on a DUI charge, the arrest and any subsequent conviction on the charge is reported to the Department of Public Safety, which could result in an immediate restriction or suspension of your clearance, depending on the charges.

If you have a criminal record that would otherwise preclude you from receiving a fingerprint clearance card, you may be able to apply for a “good cause exception.” Upon receipt of documents and after consideration, the Board of Fingerprinting may or may not grant an exception to clear the way for approval of a clearance card.

If a prior criminal offense is barring your way to a needed fingerprint clearance card, speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney about applying to set aside your earlier conviction or to determine your other options.

Talk to an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney about your case

If you have questions about a DUI arrest and a fingerprint clearance card, Blackwell Law Office, PLLC can help. Contact us or call us today at (480) 227-4984 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.