Anytime you’re arrested and/or convicted of a crime, it can have a significant effect on your life and your future. In Arizona, there is no true expungement, but there are other steps you can take that can have great benefits in helping you deal with your criminal history. In Arizona, you can apply to have a record of your conviction set aside. If you would like to know if you’re eligible for this or you have any questions about your criminal record, don’t hesitate to contact The Stewart Law Group to schedule a free consultation.
How Expungement Works
Under Arizona law, you can apply to have your conviction set aside in some circumstances. The arrest and conviction will remain on your criminal history, but the set aside will record that you completed your sentence successfully and will allow you to regain certain benefits and rights that you lost because of the conviction, such as the right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury, or possess a firearm, depending on the specifics of your case.
Additionally, while your criminal history will still be visible to anyone who runs a background check, having a record that you successfully completed your sentence will also help with employment prospects, as they may look more favorably upon your conviction knowing that you complied with all sentencing requirements. Having past actions set aside can transform the future for these individuals. The possibilities include:
- Better job opportunities.
- Regaining the right to vote.
- Recovering the right to gun ownership.
Being a convict for life isn’t the ideal circumstance for anyone. Since Arizona offers this outstanding option in the Revised Statutes, Section 13-907, individuals should seek legal counsel to understand the best route for obtaining the notation in their criminal record. Individuals greatly benefit from showing future employers and family members their convictions were officially set aside by the State.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a class 2-6 felony, you may be eligible for a conviction set aside. Eligibility is not a guarantee to having your conviction set aside; the court must approve the application.
For a class 4-6 felony conviction, two years must have passed from the completion and fulfillment of your sentencing requirements to apply. For a class 2 or 3 felony, you must wait 5 years.
The Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 13-907, states certain conduct is ineligible for a set aside. The list includes criminal offenses such as:
Anyone guilty of a dangerous offense involving severe injury or deadly weapons.
- Anyone filed as a court-ordered registered pursuant.
- Anyone filed with sexual motivation pursuant.
- Anyone with a victim under 15 years old.
- Anyone charged with a set of specific driving offenses.
When the court is determining whether to grant or deny your application, they are required by law to consider the following factors:
- The specifics of the criminal act that led to your conviction and sentencing;
- Your compliance with probation or parole;
- Whether you were previously or subsequently convicted of a crime;
- The victim’s opinion in the matter;
- Whether you have paid all of your restitution, if applicable;
- The length of time that has passed since the sentence was completed;
- Your age at the time you were convicted; and
- Any other factors that the court deems relevant to the application.
How to Obtain Expungement
Hiring a Phoenix expungement attorney is the most efficient way to apply for a set-aside. With extensive knowledge of legal procedures and terminology, an attorney will work quickly to develop an effective proposal to present to the judge, justice of the peace, or other legal authority who was involved in the original sentence or probation.
Officially having the judgment of guilt set aside by the courts of Arizona impacts convicts in a multitude of ways. Whether a person was charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, the results of a set aside are highly valuable. For a felony, the benefits include:
- Releasing the defendant from most penalties and disabilities related to the conviction.
- Showing employers and other authority figures the person’s commitment to their future.
- Transferring the focus from the past to the future.
For a misdemeanor, individuals can benefit from similar results, but the overall impact of a set aside is less than a felony; a misdemeanor is technically less destructive for a person’s reputation. However, the set aside is still valuable for people interested in keeping their reputation as clean and honest as possible.
Obtaining legal counsel concerning an expungement or set aside is wise for individuals who want the best results. Having the advice of a professional will help people gain the desired outcome more quickly than if they apply independently.
Contact The Stewart Law Group Phoenix Expungement Attorneys
If you or someone you know would like to explore your options in setting aside a conviction, we are here to assist. We understand how devastating a criminal record can be for many individuals, and we want to do everything we can to help you get a fresh start. Our Phoenix expungement lawyers can explain the process to you and help you determine if you are eligible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.