A criminal record can restrict your ability to obtain work and housing or enjoy other freedoms like voting or owning a gun. When an attorney helps you expunge your record, it changes what someone running a background check sees.
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), Section 13-907 refers to expunging a criminal record as setting aside a judgment. After you complete the sentence for your crime, you can petition the court to have the judgment set aside, which results in a notation in the criminal record that the conviction was set aside and charges were dismissed. To be eligible for expunging your record, you must meet specific requirements. By law, courts cannot set aside judgments for convictions of certain crimes, including the following:
- Dangerous offenses (use or threatened use of a dangerous weapon or inflicting serious physical injury on someone else)
- Crimes involving use of a deadly weapon
- Crimes committed for the purpose of sexual gratification
- Crimes that require sex offender registration
- Crimes against victims under the age of 15
- Driving violations while on a revoked or suspended license
Other requirements for clearing your record include no commissions of crimes between three months and six years from the date of the completion of the original sentence or the probation for the original conviction.
ARS 13-4051 also refers to sealing the record so no one can see it. Under this statute, the judge sends a copy of the order to clear your record to all law enforcement agencies and courts. The order ensures that law enforcement agencies and courts do not release copies of the criminal record or provide access to the records unless the person requesting access obtains a court order.
By working with an experienced law firm, you can protect your rights, and a criminal defense lawyer can provide the legal help you need.