Working in Law Enforcement with a criminal record - Arizona

In order to pursue a career in law enforcement with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, there are a number of minimum qualifications that must be met.

More detail about the minimum qualifications and selection criteria can be found at the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Application Process

As part of the application process to become an Arizona DPS officer, the applicant must pass both a polygraph examination and a background investigation. The background investigation includes a history of the applicant's driving, civil and criminal records, employment, and use of illegal substances.

More information on the background information which will be explored during the polygraph examination, and which will result in rejection from the selection process can be found at the following website, by clicking on "Selection Guidelines": http://agency.governmentjobs.com/azdps/default.cfm

Effect of Felony Conviction

One of the minimum qualifications for application to be an Arizona DPS officer is that the applicant may not have had any felony convictions. Therefore, if you have ever been convicted of a felony, you are automatically disqualified from becoming an Arizona DPS officer. Unfortunately, even if you have had your felony conviction set-aside, you are still ineligible to become an Arizona DPS officer.

Laws are always subject to change and they typically change towards being more lenient on offenses being eligible for clearance. Staying up to date on record clearing laws in your state is a great way to make sure you are doing everything possible to clear your record.

Effect of a Misdemeanor Conviction

A misdemeanor conviction will not automatically disqualify you from becoming an Arizona DPS officer. Misdemeanors are examined on a case-by-case basis, and all information is taken into account in order to determine whether the applicant will be disqualified from becoming an Arizona DPS officer.

Therefore, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you should make sure to complete the terms of your conviction, establish strong ties in the community, volunteer, seek employment, and have your conviction set-aside, as all of these will help to strengthen your case, and will increase your chances of being able to become an Arizona DPS officer, despite having had a misdemeanor conviction.