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.