Expunging or sealing records

questions & answers

Question: I thought that expungement meant the clearing or erasing of one's record, but it doesn't mean that in AZ. What does it mean? What is the point of it?


Arizona does not have an ‘expungement’ statute. Instead, A.R.S. § 13-907  permits a defendant to request a "set aside" of his conviction under certain circumstances. If a person succeeds in persuading the judge to set aside his conviction, a records check will probably reflect that the defendant was originally charged, and convicted, but that the judgment was eventually set aside and an order of dismissal was entered. 
For someone who is convicted of a felony, a set aside can be very important because it has the effect of releasing the defendant "from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction other than those imposed by the Department of Transportation pursuant to 28-3304, 28-3306, 28-3307 or 28-3308.” (See A.R.S. §§ 28-3304 – 3308). When someone is convicted of a felony, they are generally forbidden to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury, and possess firearms. The setting aside of such a conviction therefore carries a great deal of meaning. 
For someone who is convicted of only a misdemeanor, the benefits of a set aside are less obvious. In fact, they may be negligible, since misdemeanor convictions do not impose the same restrictions on constitutional rights that a felony would.
You should bear in mind that a set aside is not available to a person convicted of a criminal offense: 
(1) involving the infliction of serious physical injury,
(2) involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument,
(3) for which the person is required or ordered by the court to register as a sex offender,
(4) for which there has been a finding of sexual motivation,
(5) in which the victim is a minor under 15 years of age, and
(6) other circumstances as may apply.


On 10/1/08
John said

On 3/6/08
Douglas said
Hello,On May 20th 1999 I received information that I was charged with the offence of Aggravated Assault pursuant to A.R.S 13-1204. I completed my probation. Can I get this charge set-aside now and move on with my life. What steps do I take???

On 9/14/07
Ian said
Once something is "set-aside" how will it appear on a background check?

On 6/25/07
ck said
I am wondering that if I am successful in getting my conviction "set-aside" will that entitle me to be able to legally answer "NO" to application forms that ask if I have ever been convicted of felony?

On 6/4/07
Chris said
I found this website that will help you do the paperwork to set aside the arrest. Go to www.removeit.org

View all Comments


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