KILLHAM LAW

How Does Arizona View Expungement And Setting Aside Convictions?


Arizona does not “expunge” convictions. Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, 13-907, a conviction may be “set aside” under certain circumstances. The statute explains the procedure to set aside the judgment of a convicted person, the application, release from disabilities, firearm possession, and the exceptions to the statute.

Setting aside the conviction does not “wipe it out”, it still appears on your criminal record. However, it will say that the conviction was “set aside”, which lessens the negative impact of a conviction. Sometimes, the court will use the language that the conviction has been “set aside, and dismissed”, which also sounds much better for obtaining employment, licenses and certifications. However, even though a conviction has been set aside, it can be used against you as a prior conviction in a subsequent trial for a different offense.

Does A Person Have To Disclose An Expunged Conviction On A Job Application Or Interview?

You must disclose a conviction if the job application or job interview asks about a prior conviction. However, you should also can explain that the conviction was “set aside”. Most government job applications will ask about prior convictions, even if the conviction has been set aside. As an example, this is the language on a job application for a position within the Arizona State Personnel System:

ALL QUESTIONS MUST BE ANSWERED TRUTHFULLY AND COMPLETELY. “Crime” as used in this section means any and all felonies, misdemeanors and serious driving offenses including, but not limited to, driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor (“DUI”) or drugs, extreme DUI, reckless driving, aggressive driving, racing/ exhibition of speed, excessive (criminal) speed, leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a suspended, revoked or refused license or any other driving offense that is a misdemeanor (i.e., possible penalty for conviction includes imprisonment or jail time). “Crime” does not include minor (civil) traffic offenses. If you are not sure how to answer these questions, please ask a member of the Human Resources Department for assistance. “Convicted” means you have been found guilty of a crime by a court or jury or have pleaded guilty or nolo contendere (“no contest”) to a crime and have been sentenced for a crime, whether imprisoned, incarcerated, placed on probation, fined or received a suspended sentence. **NOTE: A criminal conviction(s) may or may not constitute an automatic disqualification for employment.

Have you ever been convicted of any crime, even if set aside or expunged? Yes, No

Where Are Arizona’s Laws About Expungement And Setting Aside A Conviction?

The laws pertaining to expungement and setting aside convictions are contained in Section 9 of Title 13 in the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. The relevant statute numbers are 13-904 through 13-912. These statutes explain the laws about what type of offenses can be set aside, and the procedures to follow.

What Does A Criminal Record Show When A Conviction Is Set Aside Or Expunged?

The criminal record will still indicate that there was a charge and a conviction of the offense. That cannot be completely removed from a criminal record, but the record will also indicate that the conviction was set aside. This lets an employer know that whatever the charge was, you completed everything that you were supposed to do to the court’s satisfaction, and that the court ultimately entered an order of dismissal.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Conviction Set Aside?

The main benefit to having a conviction set aside is that your civil rights will be restored. If you get an absolute discharge from probation, or it has been at least two years since your release from prison. These rights include the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to sit on a jury, and the right to possess firearms. However, the restoration of the right to possess firearms requires a separate application than the other rights and depends on individual circumstances.

When Might A Person Be Eligible To Get Their Civil Rights Restored After A Felony Conviction?

You can ask the Court to set aside the conviction and get your civil rights restored if you have been completely discharged from probation, or if you have been released from the department of Corrections for more than two years.

For more information on Expungement & Setting Aside Of Convictions, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (623) 428-8203 today.

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