If you have been accused and convicted of a crime in Arizona, you might already be experiencing the many challenges of life after fulfilling your penalty requirements. Being convicted of a crime can leave scars for many years. You could face problems getting employment or enjoying the same civil rights that your peers do, like voting.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll always face these challenges, though. Some convicted individuals may wish to discuss the potential for record expungement with a criminal defense attorney. What are the basics of records expungement? Expunging your record means that the charges are “set aside” as if the judgment was being revoked. Often this means that the original record is modified and changed, although not destroyed. This being said, there are benefits to having your record expunged. If you think that you might be eligible for this, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Expunged Records in Arizona

In other states, getting a record expunged means that the record was deleted entirely. In Arizona the important term to remember is “set aside.” This means that there are changes made to your convict record showing that the charge has been put to the side.  Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-907 sets forth the types of convictions which can and cannot be “set aside.”

A person convicted of a crime who wishes to initiate this process can petition the court to set aside the judgement once he or she has completed the probation or other sentence. Having your record “set-aside” is a possibility if an Arizona Superior Court convicted you of a felony but you have been fully discharged from probation and prison. In addition, you may be eligible to have your record “set aside” if you were convicted of a misdemeanor in a Justice or City Court and you have completed all court orders.

How to Apply

The process of getting a record expunged is complicated enough that you should consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through it. Your attorney will be familiar with the court procedures in question and the process.

To restore your rights by having your record “set aside”, you would need to file a request with the Superior Court in the county where the conviction happened. If you have a federal conviction on your record, you’d submit this information to the Superior Court in the county where you live.

Having a conviction on your record doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to carry around this burden for the remainder of your life. If you were convicted and served your sentence successfully, you may be wondering how getting your record “set aside” and restoring your civil rights could help you move on with your life.

Having your record “set-aside” in Arizona could give you the opportunity to have a fresh start without having to dwell on the past. Rather than feeling like the impacts of a mistake are following you around for the rest of time, getting your record cleared up can empower you with a better future. Don’t hesitate to get advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.