In Arizona, a “set aside” of a conviction is regularly referred to as an expungement. When granted, the court sets aside the judgment of guilt, dismisses the complaint, information, or indictment, and orders that the person be released from all penalties and disabilities. There are few exceptions when the set-aside record can still be used against an individual. In most circumstances, a set aside will also restore firearm rights lost in relation to the conviction under Arizona law.
Can I expunge my Arizona conviction?
Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-905, almost all felony and misdemeanor convictions can be set aside. Dangerous offenses, sex crimes, and crimes in which children are the victims are the only types of offenses not eligible for relief. These convictions can cause long-lasting consequences for employment, housing, and licensing. Receiving an expungement can help remove the barriers created by a conviction. A common false belief is that convictions come off of your record automatically over time. Unless you take the important step to clear your convictions, they can continue to appear in inconvenient places and negatively impact you for the rest of your life.
When can I expunge my Arizona convictions?
No waiting period must be satisfied before applying for relief. As soon as you complete all the conditions of your probation or sentence, you may apply for relief. This includes completion of any probation, incarceration, and payment of monetary obligations owed to the court or victim(s). However, judges have discretion whether to grant the relief or not, so the longer you wait following your sentence the better your chances of success.
What's a Certificate of Second Chance?
The Certificate of Second Chance serves as an additional advantage accompanying the set-aside. Upon obtaining a set-aside, individuals are typically eligible to concurrently receive the Certificate of Second Chance. This certificate alleviates the applicant from any occupational license barriers and disabilities resulting from a conviction. Those who have previously been granted a set-aside can also request the court for a Certificate of Second Chance.
Do I need an attorney?
It's probably in your interests to have an attorney assist you. Arizona set aside relief is not guaranteed. The District Attorney has an opportunity to respond and object to your request. The judge also has the decision-making authority under Arizona law to decide if you should receive the set-aside. The judge will consider 1) the circumstances and nature of the offense, 2) compliance with the terms of your sentence, 3) your criminal history as a whole, 4) any victim input, 5) whether any ordered restitution has been paid, 6) your age at the time of the conviction, and 7) anything else the court deems relevant. Therefore, it's important to have experienced legal counsel help you.
We have a single, all-inclusive fee for an Arizona set-aside. This comprehensive fee covers every stage of your case, from its initiation to its conclusion. Our services encompass conducting essential research to gather pertinent information about your case, submitting the set-aside petition to the court, addressing any objections or opposition from the District Attorney, and, if a hearing is scheduled, dispatching an attorney to advocate on your behalf in court.