Receiving notification that your criminal charges are set aside may provide hope and increase your motivation to move beyond your past. This development could provide the foundation for you to improve your life and rebuild your reputation without your past crimes looming over your shoulder.

Even after having a judgment set aside, some limitations remain in place. Regardless of your circumstances, you must have fulfilled all the requirements imposed by the court to be eligible for reconsideration of your judgment.

Limitations of set-asides

According to City of Tucson, after you have honored the terms of your sentence, a set-aside judgment immediately removes any disabilities or penalties that remained as part of your sentencing. However, the following stay in place:

  • If you committed a traffic offense, a set-aside judgment does not remove your obligation to complete traffic school and does not automatically restore your driving privileges if their removal resulted from your prior actions.
  • The initial judgment remains on your record, but notes will indicate that the judgment was legally set aside.
  • If asked point-blank about your criminal past, you must still answer honestly, but you can inform the inquirer that your offense was set aside.
  • Any previously paid fines or restitution will stand and are not eligible for a refund.

Benefits of set-asides

With a court-sanctioned removal of your charges, you may feel more confident about your ability to move forward. When looking for employment, you can confidently inform interviewers that your criminal charges were legally set aside and you can discuss how your experience helped shape you into who you are today. You may also feel incentivized to avoid repeat offenses to maintain a clean and honorable record.