If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in Maricopa County, then you know that your past can follow you long after you have served your time. However, Arizona state law affords you the opportunity to seek an expungement. At The Baker Law Firm, LLC, people often ask us how they can move past their criminal past. In this post, then, we will discuss the process for having a judgment of guilt set aside.
Here is Arizona, you may petition the court to set aside a judgment of guilt if you have been convicted of a felony offense in the Superior Court of Arizona. Often referred to as an expungement, this action does not completely erase the charges from your history as it might in other states. Rather, it vacates the judgment, and a notation is added to your criminal record specifying that the conviction was set aside and the charges against you were dismissed.
Under Arizona state law, you may apply to set aside a judgment of guilt after you have fulfilled the conditions of your sentence or probation. If you were sentenced to serve time in prison, or any other Department of Corrections facility, then you must provide a copy of your absolute discharge with your application. In order to have your petition approved in such cases, you must have received your absolute discharge at least two years before submitting your application.
Obtaining an expungement in Arizona may afford you a number of benefits, including seeing your civil rights returned. In some cases, you may have your right to own and possess a firearm restored, as well as your right to vote. Furthermore, having a judgment of guilt set aside may also make it easier for you to seek and obtain gainful employment in the state of Arizona.
It is important for you to understand that the option to have a criminal conviction set aside is not available to everyone. Under state law, you may not be eligible if you were convicted of a dangerous offense, certain sex crimes or offenses in which the victim was under the age of 15-years-old.
For more information about vacating criminal convictions in Arizona, please visit our expungement page.