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Set Aside & Expungement Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ

In Arizona, your criminal record can prevent you from voting or owning firearms and may even limit school, housing, employment, and volunteer opportunities. If you're looking for an Arizona expungement attorney for a criminal charge that occurred in Gilbert, contact the Law Offices of Brandon White, P.C. to discuss your legal matter with one of our restoration of rights lawyers.

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Arizona Expungement & Set Aside Laws

States have different terms for legal proceedings. Legal terms that are common in some states may be called something entirely different in another, with slight differentiation in the meaning. For example, what Arizona called an “Order of Protection” or an “Injunction Against Harassment” may be called a restraining order in other states. The term “expungement” is sometimes called:

  • Setting aside a criminal conviction;
  • Criminal record clearing;
  • Criminal record sealing;
  • Criminal record relief.

Many people have the desire to clean up their criminal records for many reasons, and a court process allows them to put past events behind them. Although, unlike other states, true expungement or complete erasure of criminal records is generally not available in Arizona (although marijuana expungements are available). However, a process is available to clean up your record through the court system (which changed for the benefit of ex-offenders in August 2021). 

In Arizona, you may be able to have a felony or misdemeanor conviction of guilt set aside. When a background check is run, such as for an employer or a landlord, a notation will be made indicating the conviction has been set aside. This is currently the closest thing available to an expungement in Arizona.

Arizona's Certificate of Second Chance - A.R.S. 13-905

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A new law was signed in 2021, which amended Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) Section 13-905, and allowed courts to issue an order for a “Certificate of Second Chance” for individuals “whose judgment of guilt is set aside” after a criminal conviction. This is relief granted in addition to your granted motion to set aside. If you received a set aside before August 2021, you might be eligible to obtain a certificate of second chance separately - the Law Offices of Brandon White, P.C. can help you with that. 

Sealing of Records - A.R.S. 13-911

Beginning January 1, 2023, A.R.S. 13-911 allows misdemeanors and all but violent and sexual felonies to be sealed after a waiting period ranging from two to 10 years after completion of sentence and payment of court debt.

Does Arizona Expunge My Criminal Records?

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To have an Arizona record expungement, the conviction must have happened in an Arizona court. Conviction from any other state cannot be addressed in Arizona. If your conviction occurred in Arizona, your eligibility to have your conviction set aside under ARS 13-905 depends on:

  • Whether you've completed your sentence;
  • Whether your conviction is eligible or ineligible;
  • Certain factors a judge must consider under ARS 13-905, including the nature and circumstances of the offense and your compliance with conditions of probation and the sentence.

Note that If your crime included revocation of your driver's license in Arizona, a set aside would not affect your driver's license. Contact our law firm if you have questions about eligibility.

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Call Phoenix Expungement Attorneys for a Consultation

Having criminal convictions set aside can allow you to move forward in your life and help you overcome the original sentence. If you'd like to talk with a Phoenix expungement attorney about your rights and options, call us today at (602) 237-6772.

What Are the Benefits of an Expungement?

Record expungement in Arizona can provide several benefits, including:

  • Improved job opportunities: With a criminal record, it can be difficult to secure employment, particularly in certain industries. Expungement can help you put your past behind you and increase your chances of finding work;
  • Better housing opportunities: Many landlords conduct background checks on potential tenants, and a criminal record can make it difficult to secure housing. Expungement can improve your chances of finding a safe and stable home;
  • Restoration of rights: In some cases, a criminal record can result in a loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote or own a firearm. Expungement can help restore these rights;
  • Peace of mind: Having a criminal record can be stressful and weigh on your mind. Expungement can help you feel like you can move on from your past and start anew.

Although true expungement isn't available in Arizona, a set-aside criminal offense can provide similar benefits.

When Can You Apply for Expungement in Gilbert, AZ?

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In the past, Arizona law hasn't allowed for records to be sealed. But SB1294, authorized in 2021 and going into effect in 2023, enacted A.R.S. § 13-911. It also authorized the sealing of uncharged arrests and dismissed and acquitted charges for all but Class 1 felonies and certain violent and sexual offenses. There is no limit to the number of convictions that can be sealed. 

Beginning January 1, 2023, if a person “has not subsequently been convicted of any other offense except a misdemeanor [a traffic violation other than a DUI],” the person may petition the court to seal the record “after the person completes all of the terms and conditions of the person's sentence, including paying all fines, fees, and restitution that are ordered by the court”. The applicable waiting period will apply based on the time passed since the conviction: 

  • Class 2 and 3 felonies (10 years);
  • Class 4, 5, and 6 felonies (5 years);
  • Class 1 misdemeanor (3 years);
  • Lower-grade misdemeanors (2 years). 

The benefits of a sealed record are additional protection from stigma and discrimination. If your record is sealed, it won't appear on most general background checks done by employers, licensing agencies, or even potential romantic partners (and their relatives).

Are There Offenses that Can’t Be Set Aside in Arizona?

Under Ariz. Admin. Code § 13-1-102, your criminal record remains attached to you until you are age 99. While we hope everyone achieves that milestone, no one has to wait until age 99 to seek relief. In Arizona, this process is called having a conviction “set aside.” Not every crime is eligible to be set aside in Arizona, and crimes that are not eligible for setting aside include: 

  • Dangerous offense (offenses involving the discharge, use, or threat of deadly weapons or a dangerous instrument, or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another individual.); 
  • Felony offenses involving a victim who was under the age of 15;
  • Offenses where there was a finding of sexual motivation pursuant to section 13-118 - where the defendant committed the crime for the purposes of sexual gratification;
  • Sexual offenses where the person is required or ordered by the court to register as a sex offender or for offender monitoring pursuant to section 13-3821;
  • Violations of ARS Title 28, Chapter 3, including motor vehicle offenses such as aggressive driving, criminal speeding, felony flight, and hit and run.

The restoration of rights is a separate process independent of having a conviction set aside.

Let Us Fight For You

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Schedule a Consultation with a Phoenix Expungement Lawyer

If you're interested in pursuing record expungements or set-aside convictions in Arizona, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for guidance and support.

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How Gilbert Set Aside Lawyers Can Help Clear Your Criminal Record

The top reasons why people hire a lawyer to handle convictions set aside include:

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Future employment opportunities

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Attending a university, vocational school, or technical school

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Obtaining a professional license in the future

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Getting a student loan

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Getting insurance

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Adopting a child or becoming a foster parent

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Possessing a firearm

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Obtaining federal assistance (low-income housing or food stamps)

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Volunteering

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The process of having a conviction set aside can be much easier, faster, and cost-effective if you have an Arizona set-aside lawyer focusing on record expungements representing you.

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Our Gilbert Expungement Attorneys

We strive to not only meet your expectations but exceed them. What we do know is that we have some of the best attorneys in Arizona and beyond, in all of our areas of practice.

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Contact Experienced Arizona Set Aside Attorneys Today

At our law firm, we aren't just ‘form fillers' - we are familiar with the legal expungement process and are dedicated to helping our clients put their past behind them. Contact us today to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Phoenix expungement attorney.

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FAQ

Can I expunge my record without a lawyer in Arizona?

Without an attorney to expunge your criminal record, the process of restoring your rights can be confusing - and your best chance of success is with a knowledgeable record expungement lawyer representing you. With recent changes to Arizona’s changing laws, attempting to have your record set aside without a lawyer may lead to delays and denials before eventually hiring a restoration of rights attorney.

How long does it take to clear my criminal record in Arizona?

On average, it'll take three to four months to get a motion set aside granted in Arizona courts. Although it doesn’t happen overnight, it is worth it! The sooner you get everything filed, the sooner your conviction can be set aside. Contact Phoenix expungement lawyers at the Law Offices of Brandon White, P.C. today.

What are federal pardons?

Federal pardons are a form of clemency granted by the President of the United States that can forgive a person for a federal crime and restore some of their civil rights. Pardons are often granted to individuals who have demonstrated good conduct and have made significant contributions to their community. Pardons do not erase the fact of the conviction, but they do provide some relief from the consequences of a criminal record.

Can I get my marijuana charges sealed?

Under Arizona's Prop 207 expungement provisions, certain marijuana offenses may be eligible for expungement. The new law provides a process for people with prior marijuana convictions to petition the court to have their records of criminal offenses expunged. The expungement process is available for convictions, arrests, and charges related to marijuana possession, consumption, or cultivation. If you have a marijuana-related conviction on your record in Arizona, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine if you may be eligible for a marijuana expungement.

Can you get a misdemeanor expunged in Arizona?

In Arizona, it's possible to get a misdemeanor conviction set aside, which is similar to expungement. However, certain conditions must be met before the court will consider setting aside a misdemeanor conviction. The individual must have completed all terms and conditions of their sentence, including probation, and must have no other convictions on their record. Additionally, there's a waiting period before the conviction can be set aside, which varies based on the severity of the offense.

Can you get a DUI expunged in Arizona?

In Arizona, DUI convictions cannot be expunged or completely erased from a person's criminal record. However, it's possible to have the misdemeanor DUI conviction set aside, which is similar to expungement. To have a DUI conviction set aside, the individual must have completed all terms and conditions of their sentence, including probation, and must have no other convictions on their record. Additionally, there's a waiting period before the conviction can be set aside, which varies based on the severity of the offense.