What is an expungement?

People who are charged with and convicted of criminal offenses in Arizona are understandably concerned about the penalties associated with these situations. However, the consequences can and do extend beyond fines and incarceration time. Criminal records can hinder many aspects of life such as securing jobs or even personal relationships. For some defendants, there is an option to have a guilty conviction set aside by the court, helping to restore civil rights and facilitate a better future.

The act of having a conviction put aside is called an expungement. This does not fully clear defendants but, as indicated by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, it can protect criminal charge information by requiring it to be kept confidential and only released at the order of the court. People must petition for expungements.

An expungment may be available to those who may have been wrongfully arrested or convicted. Additionally, at the discretion of a judge, an expungement may be ordered for a person who has successfully completed all initially ordered penalties, such as time in jail or prison as well as probation. The lack of further criminal charges is also taken into consideration by a judge when reviewing a petition for an expungment.

Expungements cannot be requested for some crimes, however. Those incidents involving weapons, crimes against children 14 years and younger and murder, for example, are not able to be expunged. At The Baker Law Firm, LLC, we have experience working with people to successfully seek expungments. You can learn more about this at our website.