Setting aside a conviction can restore civil rights

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2020 | Criminal Law | 0 comments

There is a number of unlawful acts that can land an Arizona resident in jail or result in a conviction with a fine and time served. Examples of crimes that can result in a felony appearing on an individual’s record include property crimes, DUI under certain circumstances, drug abuse and violent crimes. We often represent clients and help prevent a conviction from affecting their life going forward. 

A person cannot expunge their criminal record in Arizona. However, a conviction may be set aside. 

Setting aside a conviction 

According to the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, a set aside indicates that there are no outstanding fees or fines and the sentence and probation are complete. This option is available only in certain situations. Individuals are ineligible for a set aside if convicted of the following criminal offenses: 

  • Exhibiting or using of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon 
  • Inflicting severe physical injury 
  • Violating traffic laws, including local ordinances 

Situations that require registering as a sex offender or in which the victim is a minor under 15 years old also cannot be set aside. 

Restoring civil rights 

According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a collateral consequence of a conviction is a loss of certain civil rights that create a lifelong barrier. Person’s with a felony on their record may not vote, own a gun, qualify for a federal student loan or receive public benefits. They also become ineligible for particular types of jobs and housing. 

Filing a request and having it granted can set aside a conviction and help restore many of these rights. In many cases, filing additional forms is necessary for restoring civil liberties. 

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