Arizona: Expunge Or Seal Your Criminal Records In Arizona

It can, perhaps, be considered a little misleading to actually describe the following process as being an expungement process. This is because the law in Arizona is such that it does not allow or facilitate complete removal of any criminal records or convictions from public sources. This means that if a potential employer or any public official was to conduct a background check on an individual, he or she will be able to find out whether a certain judgement of conviction has been vacated or whether a felony conviction has been set aside. Criminal records are not expunged or erased because of public policy purposes.

This process is, instead, termed as a process of sealing or record clearance.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully indicted or arrested or charged for any criminal activity, then the state gives you the right to file a petition with the super court to clear you on any form of criminal records that are related to your indictment or arrest. For example, the policy may hold certain records, as well as other agencies.

Once this petition has been filed, the judge of the superior court will then review your case again. If the judge feels that you will receive true justice once you have been cleared from your unlawful indictment or arrest, then the judge will proceed to issue a further order that will demand all records to clearly state that you have been cleared. Furthermore, sufficient justification will also be provided on these records as to why you have been cleared. The order issued by the judge will also be presented to all the courts of the state and any law enforcement agency. Furthermore, the judge will also clearly mention in the order issued that any court or law enforcement agency will not have the right to release a copy of the records or provide a third party with access to your records unless ordered to do so by the supreme court.

If a court, law enforcement agency or individual as received such an order from the judge of the supreme court and does not comply with the order issued by the court, then that agency or individual shall be held liable to you for compensating for the damaged incurred because of failure to comply with the order.

However, it is important to note here that any individual’s file or records are still held in the Arizona Central State Repository. Getting clearance after a petition to the court does mean, however, that an individual can truthfully claim to have never been charged or arrested. If you wish to review the statute of the state, you can visit the website of the Arizona Department of Public Safety

http://www.azdps.gov/services/records/criminal_history_records/.

Even if an individual’s conviction has been set aside, his or her public record will still show that he or she has had a conviction that was either dismissed or vacated. The record will also state that the individual in question has completed or met any conditions that were set out by the court, such as serving a sentence, taking part in a program mandated by the court or concluding a probation. It is possible that the state may use the conviction again if there is ever a situation where another criminal charge is being prosecuted.

If a set aside order has been issued by the state of Arizona, there are certain legal implications. A set aside order usually grants the individual his or her basic civil rights. For example, he or she will be allowed to vote, hold public office and even serve on a jury. However, the individual will still be required to disclose his or her conviction. Even if an individual has been charged with felony, he or she can still regain the right to possess a firearm through another court order.

Furthermore, if a court has issued a set aside order, that has absolutely no implications on whether the Department of Transportation of the state of Arizona decides to revoke or altogether suspend the individual’s driver’s license. In general, one can say that the main purpose of having a set aside order is to actually reduce or lower the negative effect an individual’s criminal conviction can have on his or her chances of obtaining employment, suitable housing and more.

Eligibility for Having a Set Aside Order

Not every individual is considered equally eligible for having a set aside order. If an individual already has a criminal record, then he or she is not considered eligible. Furthermore, there are a number of other types of misdemeanors or felonies that can also make an individual ineligible for appealing for a set aside order with the state of Arizona.

If a person has a criminal record that implies that he or she has been involved in inflicting serious bodily harm on another individual, or if a person has used a deadly weapon or a firearm while committing a crime, then the state will not consider his or her petition for obtaining a set aside order. Furthermore, set aside orders can also not be issued to people who have been classified as being sex offenders, who have committed a crime with sexual motivation or whose victims were under the age of 15. In addition to this, a person who is involved in violating any local ordinance that is concerned with operating, standing or stopping a vehicle is also unlikely to be issued a set aside order by the state of Arizona.
You can also consult a lawyer to determine if you are eligible or not for a set aside order.

Factors to Consider

If you are filing a petition to have a set aside order issued by the Supreme Court, you cannot do so until two years after you have been discharged from the prison. You will need to clearly indicate in your application when you were arrested, when you were charged as guilty, when the superior court determined that you have completed all conditions set out by the court and when you were finally discharged from incarceration.

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