Just because you made a mistake in the past does not mean you have to relinquish a promising future. With the right support and a strong defense, you might have the chance to prevent your past from impacting your life in the long term.
A Set-Aside is one option you may consider. According to Cornell University, similar to a “sealing” or “expungement,” in other states, a Set-Aside in Arizona will vacate your conviction so long as you meet the necessary eligibility requirements.
Assessing your eligibility
A thorough review of your conviction and the specifics of your sentencing will precede any decision in favor of you getting a Set-Aside. Some circumstances prevent you from pursuing this option entirely. For example, involvement in sexual crimes, using a deadly weapon and inflicting serious injury on another person often result in an unnegotiable outcome. To have the best chance of receiving approval for a Set-Aside, you will need to meet requirements including the following:
- You satisfied the terms of your sentencing including the payment of all legal fines
- You have received clearance of any pending charges
You will also need to wait for two years to pass after the completion of your probation or sentencing when you have more than one felony conviction on your record.
Knowing your rights
Sometimes you could have a difficult time determining if you meet the eligibility requirements for a Set-Aside. Collaborating with your legal team can help you make a confident decision about whether or not to proceed. If you successfully have your conviction vacated, it will not disappear from or erase your criminal record. However, it will appear alongside your conviction to notify the public of the state’s decision to dismiss your conviction.
Discrimination against convicts can impact your ability to get a job, complete your education and build relationships. A Set-Aside might improve your reputation and give you the motivation to continue turning your life around so you can reach your goals.