After a person suffers a criminal conviction and has completed her sentence, she may want to seek to lessen the impact of the conviction. We often receive calls inquiring whether an Arizona conviction may be "expunged". If a conviction is expunged, the record of the conviction is erased or removed completely. Unfortunately in Arizona there is no statutory provision for expungement of adult criminal convictions. Arizona does allow a person to apply to the court to have an order issued setting aside the criminal conviction. Unlike an expungement a set aside does not erase the conviction, it does however enter an official order showing in both court and police records that the conviction has been set aside and the criminal complaint dismissed. Obtaining a set aside order can be helpful with employment, obtaining a fingerprint clearance card and background investigations.
Arizona law does permit an individual who has had his license administratively suspended because of a DUI arrest to have the suspension expunged from his Arizona Department of Motor Vehicle driving record if the DUI charge is ultimately dismissed or the person is found not guilty of the DUI charge.
Finally, a person who was convicted of a delinquent offense as a juvenile may be eligible to apply for an order destroying his or her juvenile record. What would be a criminal offense for an adult would be a delinquent offense if charged against a minor and filed in the juvenile court. A juvenile whose case was removed to Superior Court and was prosecuted for a felony and successfully completed a term of probation may also apply to have his or her record expunged.
The information above only summarizes relief available for Arizona state matters and the law may well be different in other states and for Federal criminal violations. Please contact Sherick & Bleier if at 520-318-3939 if you have questions about setting aside convictions in Arizona.