Second Chance

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On April 1, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2067 (HB 2067) into law to amend the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) and give ex-offenders a chance to set aside prior convictions and seek a “Certificate of Second Chance” for employment opportunities and occupational licenses. The law takes effect August 27, 2021.

While Arizona does not have an expungement law that erases convictions from a criminal record, HB 2067 would allow for certain convictions to be set aside and permit individuals who fulfill probation or sentence conditions to receive a Certificate that prevents them from being barred from obtaining required occupational licenses.

Ex-offenders convicted of misdemeanors or class 4, 5, or 6 felonies with two or more years elapsing since fulfilling probation or sentence conditions would be eligible, along with applications to set aside prior convictions for class 2 or 3 felonies with five or more years elapsing since fulfilling probation or sentence conditions.

However, HB 2067 would not apply to other crimes that include driving on a suspended license, criminal speeding, hit and run driving, convictions involving a deadly weapon or serious physical injury, convictions requiring the individual to register as a sexual offender, and convictions involving victims under age 15.

In addition, the law would limit the potential liability of employers that hire an ex-offender with a Certificate and employers would, in most cases, not be held liable for hiring an employee or independent contractor who has been issued a Certificate for alleged negligent hiring for injuries or damages caused by the worker.

Second chance programs and reentry laws that help allow ex-offenders with a prior criminal record to have an opportunity to find work will continue to evolve, according to the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2021 compiled by leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

“One of the many challenges facing ex-offenders is that so many states have numerous laws restring all sorts of licenses if a person has a criminal record. States need to review these laws carefully so they do not present an unnecessary barrier to a person having a second chance,” said ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – which was named the #1 screening firm in 2020 by HRO Today – offers a white paper on “Ten Critical Steps for Ex-Offenders to Get Back into the Workforce” to help people with past criminal records successfully reenter the workforce. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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