As of December 31, 2022, a conviction can be expunged in Arizona if certain criteria are met. A successful expungement will result in the conviction being taken off your record and sealed from public access.
Arizona has long stood out in terms of its expungement laws, as the state previously only offered the option of setting aside a criminal record. This option is less comprehensive than expungement and does not entirely erase or seal the record from public view.
But as of December 31, 2022, things have changed. Arizona has enacted a new law [ARS § 13-911] that allows individuals convicted of certain criminal offenses to petition the court for an expungement order.
This order can give you a new opportunity to move forward without being held back by your criminal record.
Here is everything you need to know about expungement in Arizona.
This comes as a relief to many Arizonans who may have previously been held back by their criminal records, as it can provide them with the ability to apply for jobs, housing, and educational opportunities without the fear of their past being brought up.
What is an Expungement?
Expungement is the legal process of sealing a criminal record from the public view. This means that the record will no longer appear in background checks or public records searches, and therefore cannot be used against you.
It is important to note that an expungement does not erase your criminal record entirely – it simply seals the information from public view. However, some law enforcement agencies may still have access to the information on your record.
Expungement vs. Setting Aside a Record
Unlike the option of setting aside a record, an expungement order under Arizona law sets the conviction aside and removes all references to it from public records. This means that if someone runs a background check on you, your criminal record would not show up.
The process for applying for an expungement is lengthy and requires an application fee to be paid in addition to the necessary documentation. Additionally, you may need to appear before a judge and provide evidence that you are deserving of having your record expunged.
The Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County recommends that you speak with an attorney before filing for an expungement as the process can be complicated.
If you are successful in applying for an expungement, it is important to remember that your criminal record can still be accessed by certain law enforcement and government agencies. So, while your record may be sealed from public view, it is not entirely erased.
Am I Eligible for Expungement in Arizona?
In an attempt to make the process of expungement as accessible as possible, Arizona has simplified the requirements for eligibility.
ARS § 13-911 can be hard to comprehend with its technical legal terminology, but don’t worry – we’ve created a quiz that makes it easier for you to find out if you are eligible for an expungement in Arizona. Just take your time and answer the questions honestly – it’s as easy as that!
If the court denies an application to have your criminal record sealed, you will have to wait an additional 3 years before you can attempt to seal your record again. If you are attempting to expunge your record in Arizona, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney. Call our office at (480) 702-1789.
Take Our Arizona Expungement Quiz
Below is a free quiz you can take to learn more about your eligibility for expungement.
It takes about 2 minutes to complete and you will receive a personalized report of your eligibility for expungement in Arizona.
IMPORTANT: This quiz is not a substitute for legal advice. For a complete assessment of your eligibility for expungement, it is important to speak with an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney.
What are the Benefits of Expungement?
An expungement is a powerful tool that can provide individuals with a fresh start. Here are some of the benefits of an expungement:
- Your criminal record will no longer be publicly visible
- You may have improved job prospects as employers will no longer be able to view your criminal history
- You may be able to obtain housing and educational opportunities more easily.
- You may become eligible for certain professional licenses or certifications
- Your civil rights will be restored, including your right to vote and own a firearm in some cases
Ultimately, an expungement can help restore your reputation and provide you with the opportunity to move forward without being hindered by your past.
How an Attorney Can Help You Obtain an Expungement
Arizona’s new expungement and record-sealing laws have made the process of obtaining an expungement easier than it has ever been before. But, navigating the legal system can still be complicated and time-consuming.
As such, it can be difficult to successfully apply for expungement without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can ensure that your application is processed correctly and efficiently, as well as provide legal advice if any issues arise throughout the process.
Not all individuals with a past criminal history are eligible for an expungement. That’s why it is important to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can provide you with an assessment of your eligibility and guide you through the process.
The courts have thirty (30) days to review your record sealing/expungement application and decide whether or not it should be approved. If the court denies your petition, your lawyer can explain why this decision was made and help you craft a more successful appeal for future consideration.
If the court denies an application to have your criminal record sealed, you may have to wait an additional 3 years before you can attempt to seal your record again.
Because of this, it is important that your original application is prepared correctly.
Ready to Get Started? – Salwin Law Group is Here to Help
If you are considering filing for an expungement in Arizona, the Salwin Law Group is here to help. Our experienced attorneys can provide a comprehensive assessment of your eligibility and guide you through the process from start to finish.
We understand that everyone deserves second chances and we want to help you get yours. Don’t wait – contact us today and let’s get started on your expungement!
Call Salwin Law Group to schedule your free consultation at (480) 702-1789.