Residents who are arrested and convicted of a crime, many might think they have done what was necessary by completing the penalties, the case is over and they can move on. However, it is never a positive to have a criminal conviction on one’s record no matter how minor it is. For more serious crimes, it can be significantly problematic even well after the fact. This is when it is wise to consider a set aside. It means that the case will no longer be on the person’s record. Knowing how to get a set aside is a key part of a case.

To get a set aside after a criminal conviction, the person must have completed the sentence as it had been issued by the judge. The person cannot be on probation when seeking a set aside. If there were programs such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation or other requirements, these must have been completed as necessary to get a set aside. For those with two or more felony convictions — whether they were sentenced to prison or not — there is a two-year waiting period prior to file an application to get a set aside. The county where the conviction took place is where the filing must be made.

Simply because there was a set aside does not mean the conviction will not appear if there is a background check on the person. The record will indicate that there was a set aside and it is probable that the details of the case will be visible. But, the case is vacated and the court dismissed it. For those who are seeking certain jobs, want to regain various rights such as owning a gun and more, it can be an important step to get a set aside.

There are some criminal convictions for which a person will not get a set aside. They include: crimes where there was a serious injury, crimes where a deadly weapon was used or exhibited, sexual crimes, crimes against people under 15 and moving violations and driving infractions where the person was driving with a revoked or suspended license.

Getting a set aside after a criminal conviction is something that many Arizonans can benefit from. Understanding the process, when it can be done and the benefits of receiving it is imperative before moving forward.