Who Might Be Able To Set Aside A Conviction In Arizona?

You may be eligible to have a conviction set aside if you were convicted of a felony in an Arizona Superior Court, and you have completed all the terms of your probation period successfully. You will not be discharged from probation until all your fines, restitution, and court costs are paid in full. You also will need to have completed any court-ordered jail time, classes or community service. If you have been sentenced to a period of incarceration in the Arizona Department of Corrections, you must be fully discharged from that prison sentence. A person who has been convicted of one Arizona felony conviction will have their civil rights restored automatically once they have completed all their probation requirements or have had an absolute discharge from the Arizona Department of Corrections. If you have two or more Arizona felony convictions, you must file an application with the Superior Court of the County where the conviction occurred. You will have to file a separate application for each felony.

There are certain offenses that will not be eligible to be set aside, even if you have successfully completed probation or a prison sentence. Those are:

  1. An offense that involved a serious physical injury, (known as a “dangerous offense”)
  2. An offense that involved the exhibition or use of a deadly weapon or a “dangerous instrument”. A dangerous instrument can be any object that can inflict serious physical injury, like a knife, a baseball bat, and sometimes a motor vehicle.
  3. Any offense where the court has ordered you to register as a sex offender,
  4. Any offense that has involved “sexual motivation”.
  5. An offense where the victim was a minor under the age of 15,
  6. An offense which was a violation of Title 28, Section 3473 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. 28-3473. That statute involves driving on a public highway when your privilege to drive has been suspended, revoked, canceled or refused. There are other situations involving the Department of Motor vehicle violations and DUI offenses that may also prevent your civil rights from being restored.

Once you file your application to have your conviction set aside, the Court will give notice to the State prosecutor’s office. The application is ruled on in a closed session, and you will not be allowed to attend. You will receive a signed copy of the Order that either grants or denies your application.

What Happens If The Court Grants A Person’s Request To Set Aside A Conviction?

If your request to set aside a conviction is granted, the Court will release you from all penalties involved in that conviction, except for:

  1. Penalties imposed by the Department of Transportation, like a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
  2. The conviction can still be used against you in proceedings involving a subsequent offense,
  3. Enforcement of other Department of Transportation requirements. These can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes, 28- 3304- 3308, and include situations that require the mandatory revocation of your driver’s license.

Usually, all your civil rights will be restored automatically, except for the possession of a firearm.

Will A Person’s Gun Rights Be Restored As Part Of Restoring Civil Rights?

Getting gun rights restored after a felony conviction is set aside is not an automatic procedure, and it is more complex that having your other civil rights restored. The Court will look more carefully at your criminal history and the types of offenses that have resulted in your conviction. Restoration of gun rights require a separate application to the Court, although you can submit the applications at the same time. The application is called “Request to Restore Right to Possess or Own Firearms”. Whether your gun rights will be restored also depends on how long ago you were convicted, and what court-ordered terms were imposed.

What Can A Person Do If The Court Denies The Request?

If your request to have your conviction set aside or your request to have your civil rights restore dis denied, you have the option of filing a Motion for Reconsideration with the Court.

This is a separate application called a “Request for Reconsideration” These applications can all be obtained online, but they can be complicated, and the wording of the requests is very important. An experienced attorney can help you through the stressful process and phrase your application in a manner that will reflect you

For more information on Setting Aside A Conviction In Arizona, 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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