You did your crime, and you did your time. Now what? Many criminal offenders know all too well that the stigma of a criminal conviction will follow them. In most states, procedures are in place to allow a prior criminal conviction to be expunged. Arizona has several methods to clear your criminal conviction. One of them is to get your case Set Aside with a Certificate of Second Chance and ultimately get your record Sealed.
What is the Difference Between SET ASIDE and Expungement?
What is the difference between expungement and having a criminal conviction dismissed and Set Aside? An expungement proceeding basically results in a court order sealing all records of a criminal conviction. All court documents and arrest records are ordered sealed. It's like the criminal conviction never even happened and it can never be used against you in a court of law. In Arizona getting a case expunged completely is limited to personal marijuana offenses, and getting a case sealed is limited to certain cases after a period of time. However any person who has completed their sentence in its entirety, is eligible to get their case SET ASIDE immediately after they complete their sentence and probation. In Arizona, a prior conviction can be “set aside” pursuant to A.R.S. 13-905.
When a court sets aside a conviction, it dismisses the conviction, the penalties are dismissed, and disabilities are vacated. The prior conviction record remains, but the court record will also note that the conviction has been “set aside.” The record will show that you completed all the requirements of your sentence (fines, jail, restitution, community work service) and that the court vacated the judgment and dismissed the charges.
The Record of Conviction is Not Sealed
If the record of the conviction is not sealed, why would you want to make an effort to get your criminal conviction set aside? It is worth the effort to reduce the negative impact and stigma of a criminal conviction. If an employer or any other individual verifies your background information or court record, the history of the prior conviction will remain. Still, the order dismissing the case and setting aside the conviction will also appear. An order setting aside a criminal conviction is available for misdemeanor and felony convictions.
The Hamp Law Offices is focused on defending DUI, drug, and criminal charges in Arizona.
Contact Us Today To Discuss Getting Your Case Set Aside and Sealed.
*This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone but should consult legal counsel regarding applying the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstances.