There are certain steps you can take that will help put your conviction in the past, leaving you free to focus on your future.
One option to consider is filing a motion to have your conviction set aside. You, your attorney, or your probation officer can file the motion with the court.
What Does it Mean to Have a Conviction Set Aside in Arizona?
A.R.S. 13-907 states that when a judge grants an application to have a conviction set aside, the offender is released from all penalties that came with the conviction.
The conviction will still be available to view on public records, but it will show that your judgment of guilt was set aside.
Filing a motion to have a felony conviction set aside produces greater benefits than having a misdemeanor conviction set aside. This is because felony convictions come with more penalties than misdemeanors. Having a misdemeanor conviction set aside can still be helpful for the offender, especially when the misdemeanor conviction is drug related.
When You Can’t Have a Conviction Set Aside
Of course, there are circumstances where a person cannot have their conviction set aside. A person cannot have a conviction set aside if:
- The person was convicted of a dangerous offense*.
- The conviction required the offender to register as a sex offender.
- Sexual motivation was found to be a part of the crime as defined in A.R.S. 13-118.
- The victim was a minor under the age of 15.
*According to Arizona’s Revised Statutes, a dangerous offense means any offense where a person threatens, uses, or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or causes serious injury to another person.
Having a conviction set aside also releases the offender from all penalties related to their crime. The offender’s civil rights will be restored and their crime will finally be behind them. There are two penalties that cannot be waived or dismissed:
- Any penalties imposed by the department of transportation will remain intact.
- Any penalties imposed by the game and fish commission will remain as well.
2023 Update: Get Your Record Sealed
As of January 1, 2023, individuals that have been arrested, convicted or sentenced in the State of Arizona may petition the courts to seal their records.
Following the enactment of A.R.S § 13.911, you may be eligible to seal your arrest record. Due to this groundbreaking new law, when an individual has their criminal record sealed, the records relating to the crime are hidden from public records, and no one may view the contents without a court order.
When a record is sealed, employers, landlords, and schools that run a background check will not come up with any record of your criminal conduct.
We may be able to help you if you were:
- Convicted of a criminal offense and has completed all of the terms and conditions of the sentence imposed by the court, including the payment of all monetary obligations and restitution to all victims.
- Charged with a criminal offense and the charge was subsequently dismissed or resulted in a not guilty verdict at a trial.
- Arrested for a criminal offense and no charges were filed.
All case records that are sealed pursuant to this section may be:
- Alleged as an element of an offense.
- Used as a historical prior felony conviction.
- Admissible for impeaching any party or witness in a subsequent trial.
- Used to enhance the sentence for a subsequent felony.
- Used to enhance the sentence pursuant to sections 28-1381 and 28-1382.
- Pleaded and proved in any subsequent prosecution of the person by this state or a political subdivision of this state.
- Used as a conviction if the conviction would be admissible if the conviction was not sealed.
If you are unsure whether or not you meet the criteria to have your record sealed, contact the criminal defense team at JacksonWhite. Our criminal defense team has years of experience defending their clients’ rights, and they offer free case reviews to answer any questions you may have.
Get Your Conviction Set Aside with JacksonWhite
Working with an experienced criminal attorney before you’re convicted can save you the trouble of having to get your rights restored later on. If you’re facing criminal charges in Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, or Peoria, or if you are seeking to have a conviction set aside, the criminal lawyers at JacksonWhite can help.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.