Unlike many of our neighboring states, Arizona does not have a way to expunge criminal convictions. As it currently stands, if you are convicted of a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony, it will stay on your record forever. That conviction does not have to define you. Arizona’s set aside statute, A.R.S. 13-905 helps people regain control over the narrative of their life by dismissing a case after a conviction.
Here’s how it works:
One you fulfill all of the conditions of your sentence or probation you can apply for the court to have the judgment of guilt set aside. To be eligible your conviction can not have been for (1) a dangerous offense; (2) an offense requiring sex offender registration; (3) an offense with a finding of sexual motivation; (4) a felony offense in which the victim was a minor under the age of 15; and (5) driving on a suspended license, a local ordinance related to stopping, standing, or operation of a vehicle, or Chapter 3 of Title 28 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Essentially, most offenses are eligible. To find out if you are eligible for a set aside, you should consult with an attorney about the specifics of your case.
If eligible, the Court is required to consider the following factors in deciding whether to have the conviction set aside: (1) the nature of the conviction; (2) your compliance with the sentence or probation; (3) prior or subsequent convictions; (4) the victim’s input; (5) the length of time that has elapsed since completion of your sentence; (6) your age at the time of conviction; and (7) any other factor the court believes to be relevant. Having considered these factors, if the court decides to grant the petition it will “set aside the judgment of guilt, dismiss the complaint, information or indictment and order that [you] be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction” except certain ones issued by the Department of Transportation and the Game and Fish Commission.
Once granted, you can safely say that your case was dismissed, because the judgment of guilt that was entered against you will be gone and the charging document will be dismissed.
A set aside does not remove the conviction from your record. Going forward, however, it will be notated as having been set aside.
A set aside is a reset button for many. If you have been convicted of a crime in the past do not let it color your future. You can clean up your record and avoid the worst collateral consequences of an offense. You should not be continuously punished for the rest of your life because of a prior mistake. Gurion Legal offers free consultations for any person convicted of a crime and interested in a Set Aside. Call us at 480-800-0020 to schedule your consultation.