How Do I Seal My Criminal Record in Arizona?

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Seal My Criminal Record

Sealing a criminal history can be a complicated legal task in most states, and it is technically not possible in Arizona unless there are extenuating issues. Also known as in the legal profession as expunging a criminal record, Arizona law does not allow complete removal of the record in any manner except when the defendant has been completely exonerated of all charges.

There are some criminal records that can be classified as being “set aside” as a criminal matter, but this still does not mean the paper record will not still exist. And there are also some types of crimes that are impossible to set aside under any conditions. Having an experienced criminal lawyer in Arizona investigating the possibility of a set-aside order can help significantly before even filing a request.

Qualifying Set Aside Cases

One good situation in requesting a set aside order in Arizona is that the criminal offence can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Some states do not make allowance for felony convictions, especially when the legal matter is sexual in nature. Conversely, one of the particular criminal records that Arizona law does allow a record sealing is when the case involves human trafficking or they are accused or convicted of prostitution. For records that are set aside, there are specific people who first review the record publicly and make sure that the defendant satisfied all conditions of punishment, that the state vacated all criminal convictions, or that the charges were dismissed.

Records That Cannot Be Set Aside

There are some types of criminal records that cannot be sealed in any manner. Arizona state law is explicit in which crimes these are. An Arizona criminal attorney can inspect the criminal record and advise on any possibility of setting the case aside.  Those case types that cannot be set aside include:

  • Any dangerous offence such as the use of a firearm
  • Any sexually oriented case
  • Any case requiring sex offender registration by the defendant
  • Any crime with a victim under 15 years of age
  • Certain specific driving offences

Correcting a Criminal Record

The state of Arizona also allows for the correcting of a criminal record. This can actually be accomplished by requesting a record review packet and submitting the particular errors you feel were included in the case. This process is a general formality unlike a set-aside request, but it can still be a contested legal matter that should include the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney who can help rectify the erroneous record.

No Waiting Period for a Set Aside Motion

Unlike other states that have a basic protocol for sealing a criminal record, Arizona has no specific mandatory waiting period outside of satisfying all associated penalties stemming from a conviction. The state court realizes people can get caught in the middle of criminal activity and still be technically guilty of a crime even though that does not indicate their true attitude toward criminal activity. Set aside requests in Arizona can include testimony from members of the community who will vouch for the defendant and risk their own personal reputation, which is not a component of many other state expungement processes. This can be an added benefit because it is a public acknowledgement of a change in lifestyle and personal growth.

Contact Robert A. Dodell Arizona Criminal Offense Attorney

Requesting a set aside order in Arizona is assuredly a serious legal matter, and it is always best to have a seasoned criminal attorney like Robert A. Dodell representing your case. Receiving a set-aside approval in Arizona is unlike other states in many ways. But the Court is not compelled to approve the request so the process must be approached with serious due diligence. The attorney you choose to represent the request can make a major difference. And that difference maker can be Arizona criminal lawyer Robert A. Dodell.


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