About Expungement In Arizona
Arizona does not allow expungement. Instead, Arizona allows misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions to be “set-aside.” Setting aside your conviction essentially does two things. First, it removes disabilities caused by the criminal conviction. For example, if a domestic violence conviction is set aside, it removes the requirement that the person convicted cannot possess firearms.
Second, it changes your status from being convicted of a crime to no longer being convicted. Judges have advised that by having a conviction set-aside, you do not need to answer yes on employment questionnaires or applications that ask if you are convicted of a crime. Of course, this applies only to the crimes which you successfully set aside.
The difference between expungement and having a conviction set-aside is that the expungement removes the history of the conviction from your criminal record. Having a conviction set-aside will not remove the event from your criminal record. However, your criminal record will show: (1) you were charged; (2) you were convicted and; (3) your conviction was set aside. So, if your employer or anybody wanted to look at your criminal history, they would see the original charges and that you were convicted. However, they would also see that your conviction was set aside.
If you are convicted of a felony, you can have the conviction set-aside. However, in most cases, you must apply to have your civil rights reinstated. More importantly, you must specifically apply to have your right to possess firearms reinstated even if a felony conviction has been set aside.
If you have a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, having it set aside is an excellent benefit. This is because it removes the prohibition against you being able to possess firearms.
The cost for having a conviction set-aside is not significant. Therefore, if you have the means, you should seriously consider contacting a lawyer to explore the possibility of having your conviction set aside and your rights restored. My law firm is able to assist you with this.