What is expungement?
Depending on the nature of a person's crimes they were charged with, most US states allow for people to have their criminal records expunged. This means that your criminal charges and convictions may be eligible to be set aside and removed from public access.
GENERALLY, WHICH TYPES OF CHARGES ARE EXCLUDED FROM EXPUNGEMENT ELIGIBILITY?
- Capital Offense
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Sexual Offenses
WHERE DOES THE STATE OF ARIZONA CURRENTLY STAND WITH EXPUNGEMENT?
In Arizona, persons may only be allowed to have their existing convictions set aside. This means that the details of their convictions are still available with a notation mentioning that the charge has been set aside. This will change from 2023.
HOW WILL THIS CHANGE IN 2023?
Arizona's new expungement laws will be about the same as those in the other states.
Relief can be provided for persons arrested, convicted, or charged with certain marijuana-related offenses. These offenses all fall under the personal use, cultivation, or transportation of marijuana such as:
- Processing, transporting, possessing, or cultivating no more than six marijuana plants at a person's residence for their own personal use.
- Transporting, possessing, or consuming 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana
- Transporting, possessing, or using paraphernalia that is used for the purpose of manufacturing, consuming, cultivating, or processing marijuana
However, those who have been arrested, convicted, or charged with the distribution or selling of marijuana will not be eligible to apply for expungement of their convictions.
WHAT CONDITIONS NEED TO BE MET IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
If you fit any of the following descriptions, you may be eligible to have your criminal charges expunged.
- Arrested for a criminal offense in which no charges were filed.
- Charged with a criminal offense, before being found not guilty at a trial or having their charge dismissed
- Convicted of a crime and who have since met all the conditions of their court-imposed sentence.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A PERSON TO HAVE THEIR CRIMINAL RECORDS EXPUNGED?
A person who has successfully had their charges expunged will have their records sealed from members of the public. This means that background checks will come up clear and they would be able to truthfully say that they have not been arrested or convicted of a crime when applying for a job.
WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF SECOND CHANCE?
This judicial certificate for relief allows eligible persons to have their records set aside and receive total rehabilitation in Arizona. This certificate restores a person's right to obtain professional certifications that could not have previously attained due to the charges against their name. These include teaching, medical care, construction, and childcare.
ARE THERE ANY OFFENSES IN ARIZONA THAT CAN NOT BE SEALED?
While there are no exclusions based on how many convictions a person may have on their record, there are certain offenses that are not eligible for record sealing or expungement in Arizona with this new law.
- Class 1 felonies
- Some sexual offenses
- Some serious violent offenses
- Knowingly inflicting serious bodily harm on another person
- Offenses related to the use, exhibition, or discharge of a firearm or deadly weapon
- For offenses involving the sale of marijuana, however, should a person be willing to go through the mandatory waiting period to file for relief, they may have their record sealed.
WITH THESE NEW EXPUNGEMENT LAWS, DOES A PERSON STILL NEED TO SEEK LEGAL HELP WHEN FACING CHARGES?
These new expungement and record-sealing laws in Arizona really help give persons facing criminal charges that are eligible for expungement a chance to turn over a new leaf and restart their lives free from the burden of any charges they may have against their name.
This being said, it is still very important to note that not all crimes and convictions are eligible for expungement under these new laws. Therefore as soon as you are aware of the charges or accusations laid against you, you should seek a good local criminal defense attorney. They will know what to look for within the case that may help you get your case expunged or dismissed or even your charges reduced drastically.
CONTACT AN ARIZONA EXPUNGEMENT LAWYER FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION
Call 928-352-8621 or toll free at 866-490-HAMP. Alternatively, you may click here to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss your case to determine your eligibility for expungement.
Case Evaluations are free. We offer affordable flat fees for our legal services.