The past year’s events have made an extremely competitive job market for many job seekers. As many industries undergo extensive layoffs and downsizing, the job market has been flooded with qualified professionals looking for work. Given this highly challenging environment for job seekers, the presence of a misdemeanor or felony on your record can be a serious hindrance to developing your career.
Considering the options for your career
A conviction shouldn’t mark the end of your professional life. Arizona doesn’t have expungements and the ability to have a conviction completely erased from your record, but it has provisions in place for ‘set asides.’ A set aside doesn’t remove a conviction from your record but it creates a distinction for that conviction, which can be important to pursuing work. If you completed a sentence for a felony or misdemeanor conviction, you need the understand the criteria that may permit you to get that conviction set aside:
Completed sentence: This includes finishing probation and jail time, as well as civil penalties, fines, community service, counseling, etc.
Disqualified convictions: Most Arizona convictions can be set aside. There is a list of convictions that the state doesn’t allow to be set aside. These convictions may include driving on a suspended license, crimes that involved a deadly weapon, assaults where you inflicted serious physical injury to another, convictions that require registering as a sex offender and crimes involving a victim under the age of 15.
Judge’s discretion: A judge has to consider a list of factors regarding the circumstances of the crime, prior convictions, your age at the time of the crime and the victim’s input, amongst others.
Getting your life back on track
Once you’ve served your time, you need to explore all your options for getting your life back. A conviction is undoubtedly a professional setback, but you should learn more about receiving a set aside and whether this designation can help your situation.