Arizona’s House Bill 2067, which went into effect on August 27, 2021, created the Certificate of Second Chance. Signed by the governor in April of that year, the Bill amended Section 13-905 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. It allows qualified individuals to set aside guilty convictions and maintain occupational licenses.
As noted on the Arizona State Legislature’s website, the law does not remove or redact an individual’s guilty judgment. With a Certificate, however, individuals convicted of certain offenses could continue to work under their professional licenses.
Convictions that may qualify for a Certificate
Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor offense may apply for a Certificate of Second Chance if they have not already received one for a prior offense. Common misdemeanors include driving under the influence and shoplifting.
After two years, individuals convicted of a class 4, 5 or 6 felony offense may apply for a Certificate. Qualified individuals, however, must have completed all of their court-ordered sentencing requirements. Individuals convicted of a class 2 or 3 felony offense must wait at least five years before applying. They may then proceed with their applications if they have also completed their sentences or probation requirements.
How a Certificate helps an individual to work at their occupation
During a background check, potential employers may see an individual’s conviction. A Certificate offers a note explaining a conviction’s dismissal, as reported by Pre-Employ.com. By holding a Certificate, licensed professionals such as realtors, doctors and barbers may work at their occupations. Their employers may also absolve themselves from liability for negligent hiring decisions.
The Grand Canyon State does not have any statutes that allow expunging or erasing criminal records. Individuals who need to maintain occupational licenses, however, may apply for a Certificate of Second Chance.