When you are charged with or convicted of a crime, the incident typically stays on your permanent record forever. Fortunately, Arizona (AZ) allows you to clean your criminal record by expunging the records of your arrest or conviction. Chandler expungement lawyer Jason Navarro at Navarro Law, PLC explains the process for clearing your criminal record in Maricopa County or surrounding areas.
How a Chandler Expungement Lawyer Can Help Clear Your Criminal Record
Cleaning up your criminal record can be a complicated and confusing process. As such, you should seek help from an Arizona expungement attorney who knows how the rules outlined in the Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-905 and § 13-911 apply to your specific case.
Conveniently located in Chandler, Jason Navarro serves clients throughout Maricopa County and beyond. His experience and determination to help criminal defendants, paired with his familiarity with Arizona law and local courts make Jason a distinctive Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Queen Creek expungement attorney.
How AZ Expungement Works
Upon fulfillment of their penalty, whether probation or a prison sentence, a criminal defendant may apply for a criminal judgment to be set aside. In fact, the court must inform defendants of their right to seek this privilege during sentencing.
However, simply completing the penalty is not enough for the court to set aside a defendant's conviction record. To determine whether to clear the defendant's record, the court considers the following:
- Nature and facts of the convictions;
- Defendant's compliance with probation;
- Additional convictions or crimes;
- Time since the defendant's sentence;
- Defendant's age when convicted; and
- All other relevant factors.
Either the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or the assigned probation officer may request that an Arizona conviction or convictions be set aside. The application is free for the defendant to file. Contact an Arizona expungement attorney to help with the legal process of seeking an AZ expungement or having criminal records set aside.
The Effect of an Expungement Obtained by a Chandler Expungement Lawyer
When the court sets aside a conviction in Arizona, it must notify the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which must note on the defendant's record that an expungement has been granted. Setting a conviction aside releases the defendant from most penal consequences arising from the conviction, but there are exceptions. Penalties imposed by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) or the Arizona Game and Fish Commission are not waived when an Arizona conviction is set aside.
Additionally, an offense that has been set aside may be used by the courts or others in the following cases:
- As a conviction, if the conviction is admissible without the expungement;
- As a factor in an offense;
- As a previous conviction;
- In pleading or proving a later prosecution of the defendant; and
- By the ADOT, as if a set aside had not occurred.
Setting aside Arizona criminal records does not require law enforcement agencies to redact or remove a record or information from the defendant's record. Additionally, the Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting may consider the set-aside conviction when determining if an applicant is eligible for fingerprint clearance. Contact a Chandler expungement lawyer to fully understand what a set-aside or expungement does and does not do.
The Victim's Role in an AZ Expungement
The victim of the defendant's crime will play a role in the defendant's expungement process. The victim has 30 days to file an objection to the records being set aside, which will trigger a hearing with the court.
A victim is also entitled to be present and heard at any hearing the defendant has during the AZ expungement process. Following a request for postconviction notice, the state's attorney must provide the victim with notice of the defendant's application.
A Chandler Expungement Lawyer Explains the Future of Expungements
ARS § 13-911, a new law passed by the Arizona legislature and effective January 1, 2023, provides an improved expungement system to replace the set-aside process. The new AZ expungement law will fully seal all case records when an expungement is granted, including:
- A conviction;
- Charges of a criminal offense subsequently dismissed or a not guilty verdict; and
- Arrests that resulted in no charges.
The new law allows the court to grant the expungement if it is in the best interest of the defendant and the public's safety. Beginning in 2023, the law will allow the court to grant or deny a petition to seal case records without a hearing. Contact an Arizona expungement attorney to understand the full effect of the new law governing AZ expungement.
Contact Chandler Expungement Lawyer Jason Navarro
Chandler, AZ law firm, Navarro Law, represents clients in the greater Phoenix area, including Maricopa County and the cities of Buckeye, Surprise, Avondale, Apache Junction, San Tan Valley, Florence, the City of Maricopa and more.
With his skill and experience, Jason Navarro can help you apply to set aside your conviction and seal your record in the future. For help clearing your record, contact Chandler expungement lawyer Jason Navarro at (480) 591-7111 or fill out this online contact form.