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How to Expunge Your Criminal Record

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Nov 06, 2009 in Criminal Law

When someone is convicted of a crime in Arizona, he or she faces the difficult possibility of having that criminal history attach to their past in such a way that it could limit the opportunity to move forward after the price has been paid. Fortunately, Arizona also provides for an opportunity for those who have been convicted of a crime to work towards wiping their slates clean by way of expungement of those criminal records. However, the process can be intricate in nature, which means that if you are hoping to set aside a judgment in Arizona, you'll need the help of an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney. Below is a brief overview of this issue.

Arizona Expungement Attorneys - The Nature of the Arizona Expungement Process

As stated above, the technical term for expungement in Arizona is actually known as setting aside a judgment. In effect, successfully completing this process with the help of an experienced Phoenix expungement lawyer allows someone who has been convicted of a crime to be able to avoid having to explain his or her past to future prospective employers, property managers and anyone else who may by law exercise the right to analyze that relevant history. It should be noted that not all types of crimes are eligible for expungement/setting aside a judgment, and those that are not eligible appear below:

  1. Any crime involving the infliction of serious physical injury
  2. Any crime involving the use or even the brandishing of a deadly weapon
  3. Any crime that, at its base, involved sexual desires
  4. Any moving violation/DUI-type of crime where the defendant was driving with a suspended license
  5. Any crime in which the victim was younger than 15 years old when the criminal act occurred

These tenets encompass several serious crimes, but that still provides ample opportunity to successfully pursue an Arizona expungement/setting aside a judgment if certain conditions are met. These conditions include:

  1. The defendant must have completed the terms of the original sentence handed down upon conviction, including a term of incarceration, the completion of a probation period, the completion of any anger management course order and the completion of any alcohol/substance abuse counseling; and
  2. The defendant must not have encountered any additional criminal convictions for a period of time between three months and six years of the date of the completion of the sentence and/or the completion of any probationary period.

If these conditions are met, the defendant can move forward with the efforts to expunge his or her criminal record in Arizona.

Arizona Expungement Attorneys - The Process

If the preliminary qualifications are met by the defendant, he or she can move into the actual process of obtaining an Arizona expungement/setting aside a judgment. That process involves filing the appropriate documentation/motions with the court that holds jurisdiction over the matter. When the hearing is scheduled, the convicted defendant and his or her Arizona expungement lawyer present all of the facts to the judge in an attempt to show that the conditions required by law have been met.

If the judge agrees that such conditions have been met, he or she can order the defendant's record to be expunged/to have the judgment set aside. There are several instances in which the prosecutor's office could actually be of aid in this effort, but that possibility is only enhanced by working with an Arizona expungement lawyer who understands the process and how to properly manage the effort to provide the defendant with the best opportunity to obtain a fresh start. If you'd like to explore this possibility, contact the law firm of Montano Arentz & Associates, PLLC today to get this process started.



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