Expungement in Arizona
- Expungement in Arizona
- What is expungement?
- Clearing Your Arizona Record Through A Court Petition
- Arizona Expungement Exclusions
- DUI Expungement in Arizona
- What If Dropped Charges Still Appear On Background Checks?
- Why Felony Conviction May Still Be Showing On Your Record
Expungement is the process of clearing a criminal record you may have. Both felony and misdemeanor r convictions can be cleared through expungement. The Federal Government allows people to apply to have their records cleared, or expunged after an amount of time has passed. Regardless of the Federal law, each state has its own laws on getting a record expunged.
In the state of Arizona, employers, firearms dealers, creditors, the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), and property owners can request and perform background searches on you before they make certain formal agreements. Background checks consist of an individual’s criminal past, work history, driving conduct, and other records for any red flags that may influence an investigator’s decision.
What is expungement?
The laws of Arizona allow for persons convicted of felonies to clear their criminal history through expungement. Once your past criminal record is deleted, you can enjoy equal access to jobs and voting and generally experience many of the rights and advantages that people with no criminal record might overlook. Nonetheless, achieving that particular outcome is a complicated and time-consuming procedure requiring the assistance of experienced criminal defense attorneys like us.
In Arizona, expungement is known as setting aside a judgment. In Arizona, anyone who is convicted of a crime is entitled to put through a petition to have the conviction set aside or expunged. The convicted person must first complete their sentence or complete any probation that is required. By getting your record expunged, a person has a much better chance at receiving a job, a license to carry a firearm, and the right to vote if it was revoked, and their record will carry with it a note that states the charge or charges were dismissed.
Before considering if a convict qualifies for expungement, note that certain offenses cant be overturned. Here are some of the crimes:
- Felonies that inflict severe bodily harm disqualify individuals from expungement.
- Felonies involving the display or use of lethal weapons will disqualify individuals from applying for expungement.
- If individuals were convicted of a heinous crime driven by sexual urges, they wouldn’t qualify for expungement.
- Crimes committed against victims who are under 15 years do not qualify for expungement.
- When a defendant engages in a road violation during a period when their licenses have been revoked or suspended, they won’t qualify for expungement.
If a conviction involves any of the above offenses, it can neither be set aside nor expunged. On the other hand, expungement can only be possible for individuals if the following criteria are satisfied:
1. An accused must fulfill all the conditions outlined in their initial sentence following their conviction, which include:
- The defendant must have fully served their prison or jail terms to qualify for expungement.
- An accused must have fulfilled their probationary terms to be eligible for expungement.
- The defendant must have fully honored their drug abuse treatment programs to be considered for expungement.
- If the court had ordered a defendant to do an anger management course, they must finish it before being eligible for expungement.
2. If you’re an offender, you’re not supposed to have further felony convictions for 90 days to 6 years after the conclusion of your initial jail term or probation linked to your original sentence.
If you believe that you can qualify for expungement, ensure that you’ve got your foot ahead while petitioning the courts. You can present various bits of evidence during your hearing, such as documents proving that you fully served your sentence. Also, you can submit documents proving that you haven’t gotten in any trouble with the authorities since your initial conviction.
If possible, also add additional information that can persuade a magistrate to offer you an expungement.
Felony Expungement in Arizona
In order to get an Arizona felony expunged, you will need to meet the same requirements as with any other conviction. You will have to have met the requirements of your sentencing and probation as well as put through a petition to have your record expunged, or set aside. A felony is an extremely serious crime so may be more difficult to have expunged than a DUI or even a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor expungement in Arizona
A misdemeanor is considered a lesser crime than a felony and normally not punished as severely. Misdemeanors are eligible to be expunged as long as all requirements are met, as with most other convictions. If your petition to have the misdemeanor expunged is approved, a note will appear on your record stating it has been set aside. With this, you can now tell prospective employers you have not been convicted of any crimes. While the conviction will still show on your record to law enforcement officials, employers will not be able to see the conviction.
Clearing Your Arizona Record Through A Court Petition
“Setting aside judgment” is the legal term used in Arizona for expungement. Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-907 offers citizens to have their convictions set aside. The term essentially means that any individual found guilty can plead with the judge to have the verdict overturned after serving the term or completing the necessary probation. Once the authorities release an offender from probation or sentence, the law requires them to inform you of your right to initiate an expungement.
13-907. Automatic restoration of civil rights for first offenders; firearm rights
A. On completion of probation for an offense committed in this state or absolute discharge from imprisonment, any person who has not previously been convicted of a felony offense shall automatically be restored any civil rights that were lost or suspended as a result of the conviction if the person pays all victim restitution imposed. A person who is entitled to the restoration of any civil rights pursuant to this subsection is not required to file an application pursuant to section 13-908, except that if the person does file an application, the court shall grant the application without receiving a response from the state or holding a hearing.
Undoubtedly, getting your criminal record effectively erased will offer you a slew of advantages. Among them are:
- It will make your job-seeking ventures in Arizona simpler.
- It will ease your possibility of restoring gun rights in Arizona.
- The government will most likely restore your right to vote in Arizona.
- You’ll get a notation indicating that your record was overturned and its charges were dropped.
Going through daily activities as a convicted felon hurts one’s living standards. Nonetheless, there’re criteria that individuals must fulfill for their expungement to be effective in the state of Arizona.
Arizona Expungement Exclusions
In order to get your record expunged in Arizona, there are certain requirements you must meet. Certain crimes cannot be expunged under any circumstances. These crimes are:
- crimes of serious physical injury
- using a deadly weapon
- sexual crimes
- crimes involving minors (under 15 years old)
- a driving violation where the license was already suspended
All other crimes have the ability to be expunged. As long as the convicted has met the probation or sentencing, the expungement process can proceed.
DUI Expungement in Arizona
Driving under the influence, known as DUI, is an extremely serious offense. Since Arizona does not technically offer expungement on records, you may be able to set aside your DUI so it no longer appears on your record. As long as all the conditions were met as well as probation, you may petition to have your record set aside. Once your expungement is approved, it will be cleared from your record as if it never happened.
What If Dropped Charges Still Appear On Background Checks?
Prospective hiring managers can see your charges and arrests. However, it doesn’t constitute a conviction. Thus, it doesn’t result in your criminal history. It is just an unfounded accusation. Specific workplaces notice this but are oblivious to the distinction between convictions and charges. At the same time, other recruiters can presume that if an individual weren’t at fault, they wouldn’t have been arrested or prosecuted.
ARS § 13-4051 enables individuals who have unjustly been arrested or prosecuted to ask the judge for a notation indicating that they had been acquitted. The judge can equally order police agencies and courts to refrain from disclosing or accessing such records. If the officials intentionally violate such orders from the judge, a legal charge will be leveled against them.
Any person who is wrongfully arrested, indicted or otherwise charged for any crime may petition the superior court for entry on all court records, police records and any other records of any other agency relating to such arrest or indictment a notation that the person has been cleared.
Remember that being unjustly detained or prosecuted doesn’t qualify as a sentence. When an individual is wrongly incarcerated or accused, it implies they are innocent. Even if a defendant is cleared since the prosecution couldn’t establish their guilt, they may nonetheless have broken the law. For instance, an individual may be charged with DUI only for their blood tests to come back clean, proving that they weren’t guilty.
Why Felony Conviction May Still Be Showing On Your Record
After completing probation for class 6 undesignated felonies, you can qualify for the courts to reduce it to a minor crime. Nevertheless, the courts don’t always immediately reduce it to a misdemeanor.
In case they don’t immediately reduce it to a non-indictable offense, you can initiate the process in two different ways:
And in case they don’t immediately reduce it to a non-indictable offense, you can initiate the process in two different ways: Your first alternative would be to request the officer in charge of your probation to submit a petition with the judge to reduce your record to a minor one once your probation is finished. The other option would involve your lawyer submitting a petition with the courts to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor.
Although the expunction of convictions in Arizona is evident with respect to the necessary criteria, they may still trickle down to practical issues in line with how you present and defend your petition.