Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed House Bill 2067 into law, which will allow many Arizonians with a criminal record to qualify for a Certificate of Second Chance. Keep reading for more information.
What Is a Certificate of Second Chance?
Many people with a criminal record experience barriers to obtaining occupational licenses. However, this new bill could give them the opportunity to become a teacher, counselor, nurse, trade worker, cosmetologist or other occupation despite their past record.
Once someone has obtained a Certificate of Second Chance, their prior convictions will be set aside in a process similar to expungement. Arizona does not have a pure and simple expungement law, but a Certificate can help ex-offenders receive similar benefits.
Not only can Certificate recipients qualify for occupational licenses, but they can also apply for housing and other employment opportunities that were previously out of reach due to a criminal history.
How Does a Certificate of Second Chance Work?
Anyone who meets the following qualifications may be eligible for a Certificate of Second Chance:
- Previous class 4-6 felony convictions
- Previous misdemeanor convictions
- More than two years have passed since the fulfillment of probation and/or sentence conditions
- Previous class 2-3 felonies with at least five years since fulfillment of probation/sentence conditions
Not all ex-offenders are eligible for a Certificate, however. The law does NOT apply to those who have been found guilty of the following crimes:
- Driving with a suspended license
- Convictions involving victims under 15 years of age
- Sexually motivated convictions
- Convictions involving a deadly weapon or infliction of physical injury
- Offenses requiring the individual to register as a sex offender
- Criminal speeding, aggressive driving, and hit and runs
HB 2067 in Practice
Certificates release the person from all limitations to obtaining an occupational license if they are qualified. While a Certificate of Second Chance opens up a world of opportunity for convicted persons, employers who hire certified workers will not be held responsible for negligent hiring or damages caused by the employee.
Essentially, this means that employers are free from liability should the individual cause harm or be harmed during the course of their employment. Employers are also not obligated to hire candidates with certificates, which in turn means that certified persons cannot file suit for discriminatory hiring practices related to their criminal record.
Another key point of HB 2067 is that if a suit is brought against the employer related to any certified employees, prior convictions will not be used as evidence unless the conviction is directly related to the reason for the lawsuit.
Can I Get a Certificate?
A Certificate of Second Chance can help you begin recovering your freedom and autonomy. However, you might not know where to start.
Territorial Law is no stranger to tough cases. Our attorneys have helped countless clients with cases that seem impossible; fortunately for them, “impossible” isn’t in our vocabulary. Our team of experienced legal professionals doesn’t shy away from a challenge – we face it head on.
Whether you need to get a Certification of Second Chance, or you need help navigating an unfair lawsuit, our team is here for you. Territorial Law is a solution-based law firm, which means we don’t offer clients vague platitudes. Our team investigates every detail of your case, leaving no stone left unturned.