Set Aside a Conviction
Set Aside a Conviction in Arizona
How Do You Set Aside a Conviction in Arizona?
Our Arizona criminal defense attorney will file a petition with the court to set aside the judgment of guilt and restore civil rights. Arizona firearm rights may be restored, if eligible. See below for more information. Call for a free eligibility review.
Arizona Conviction Set Aside FAQs
What is an Arizona Set Aside?
In Arizona, a felony conviction takes away certain civil rights of the person convicted. Those rights are the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to possess a gun or firearm.
A domestic violence conviction also suspends a person’s right to possess a gun or firearm even though it is most often a misdemeanor.
Having a conviction set aside restores these civil rights.
Arizona law permits for a person or their criminal defense attorney to apply to the court to have the judgment of guilt set aside, or vacated, for most offenses after the completion of probation or discharge of the sentence. A.R.S. § 13-905(A).
If the court grants the motion to set aside a conviction, the person is “released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction” except certain offenses under Title 28 (the Department of Transportation) and Title 17 (the Game and Fish Department). A.R.S. § 13-905(D).
What’s the Difference Between a Conviction Being Set Aside or Expunged?
Arizona, unlike most states, does not offer sealing or expungement as a form of post-conviction relief except for certain eligible marijuana offenses under Proposition 207. If you have a marijuana related offense, please see our Marijuana Expungement page and call us to have a highly qualified Arizona criminal defense attorney at Civil Rights Restored review your eligibility.
Generally, when a conviction or arrest is expunged, the record is sealed or destroyed and is no longer accessible to the public. In contrast, when a conviction is set aside, the judgment of guilt is vacated and dismissed, but the criminal records are not sealed or destroyed and instead remain accessible to the public. Arizona law deems this record important to retain as a matter of public policy.
What’s the Effect of a Set Aside on My Criminal Record?
If the judge grants the motion to set aside a conviction, you will receive a minute entry stating that your conviction has been set aside or dismissed. The Department of Public Safety will update your criminal history with an annotation that the judgment of guilt has been set aside or vacated. The arrest, criminal, or court record will not be sealed or erased, since Arizona deems retention of this information a matter of public policy.
What’s the Benefit in a Set Aside in Arizona?
It’s very difficult to have a criminal conviction “haunting your past.” Setting aside a conviction restores a person’s civil rights and is a way to have a positive impact on the person’s mental health, self-image, and fosters their reintegration into society.
Although a felony set aside or misdemeanor set aside does not destroy the public record, a person may still say that the judgment of guilt was vacated and dismissed. This will help to show others that the person has been rehabilitated and is focused on improving their future. Having a conviction set aside may help when disclosing a conviction in many important areas:
- Licensing committees
- Child custody
- Fingerprint Clearance Card (Good Cause Exception)
- Immigration status
- CCW Permit
- Access to student loans
- Reputation with family and friends
Contact Civil Rights Restored to speak with a criminal defense attorney skilled in filing motions to set aside a conviction and restore firearm rights for a free case review.
What are the Limitations to a Set Aside?
If you set aside a conviction, the conviction may be used in subsequent prosecution. A.R.S. § 13-905(E).
- Arizona caselaw provides that a set aside, or vacated, conviction “does not expunge or remove the fact of conviction in Arizona.” See Russell v. Royal Maccabees Life Ins. Co., 974 P.2d 443, 193 Ariz. 464 (Ariz. App. 1998).
- A conviction that is set aside may be used for subsequent prosecution as if the judgment of guilt had not been set aside, pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-905(E).
You must still disclose your prior conviction for convictions that have been set aside.
- In Arizona, having a conviction set aside does not destroy the criminal record of a person, but rather it remains accessible to the public with an annotation that the conviction has been vacated or dismissed.
- The Russell case held that a vacated conviction does not destroy the fact that a person was previously convicted of a felony in Arizona. The court further held that a person whose conviction has been set aside must disclose that he or she has had a prior felony conviction when specifically asked, such as in insurance applications. However, the person may state that the judgment of guilt has been set aside and dismissed.
Is My Conviction Eligible for a Set Aside?
Free Arizona Set Aside Case Review
Whether the court grants the motion to set aside a conviction and/or grants the motion to restore firearm rights is entirely discretionary and based on the particular facts of each case. The process can be complicated and confusing, which is why enlisting the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney practicing in felony set asides or misdemeanor set aside is a good idea. Call Civil Rights Restored today.
Who Can Have Their Conviction Set Aside in Arizona?
People with Arizona convictions only may qualify to have their conviction set aside.
Arizona Felony Set Aside or Misdemeanor Set Aside: You must have been convicted of a crime under the state laws of Arizona in order for a judge in a state court in Arizona to grant you a judicial set aside.
If you were convicted of a crime outside of the state of Arizona, you must apply in the state that you were convicted in. If you need help contacting an attorney in another state, you may consider visiting the state bar website of the applicable state to conduct an attorney search.
If you were convicted of a federal crime in federal district court, there is no general set aside or expungement statute. However, you may be eligible to restore your civil rights. Unfortunately if you were convicted of a federal offense, there is no way (currently) to get your gun rights back outside of a presidential pardon.
If your federal conviction occurred in Arizona, check out our Civil Rights page for more details. And then call us to speak with a criminal defense attorney at Civil Rights Restored regarding your eligibility.
Requirements for a Set Aside in Arizona
You do not have any current criminal charges pending or active warrants against you.
You have paid all court ordered fines and restitution ordered.
- If you have any unpaid balances outstanding, the court will likely deny your motion for a felony set aside.
You have fulfilled all of the terms of your sentence including jail time, probation and have received the order discharging you from probation. Or, you have completed your sentence and have received the Certificate of Absolute Discharge from Imprisonment from the Department of Corrections.
- If you need to obtain your Absolute Discharge form, you may request one HERE.
If you have more than one felony conviction, it has been at least 2 years from the date of the order discharging you from probation or from the Department of Corrections.
Call us to speak with a criminal defense attorney to help determine your eligibility and get the process started.
Who is NOT Eligible to Have Their Conviction Set Aside in Arizona?
Arizona Felony Set Aside and Misdemeanor Set Aside
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-905(K) generally, most offenses are eligible to have the conviction set aside except for those convicted of:
- Dangerous offenses, which generally involve intentional serious physical injury or the use of a deadly weapon or instrument,
- Offenses for which a person must register as a sex offender or any other crimes requiring registration as listed in A.R.S. § 13-3821,
- Offenses found to have a sexual motivation, and
- Offenses against victims under the age of 15.
Call Civil Rights Restored to speak with an Arizona criminal defense attorney to help determine your eligibility.
Arizona Conviction Set Aside Factors for the Court
Just as every person is unique, so is every set of facts in a case and one’s criminal history.
Our highly qualified Arizona criminal defense attorney at Civil Rights Restored will carefully draft your motion in a light most favorable to you. If you hire us, we will conduct an interview with you to discuss these factors and guarantee to provide you with individualized, zealous advocacy in our representation.
The court will consider several factors in determining whether to grant the felony set aside, pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-905(C):
- The nature and circumstances of the offense that the conviction is based on,
- The applicant’s compliance with the conditions of probation, the sentence imposed and any state department of corrections’ rules or regulations, if applicable,
- Any prior or subsequent convictions,
- The victim’s input and the status of victim restitution, if any,
- The length of time that has elapsed since the completion of the applicant’s sentence,
- The applicant’s age at the time of the conviction, and
- Any other factor that is relevant to the application.
How Long Does It Take to Have a Conviction Set Aside in Arizona?
It depends on the court and the case load they have. The process may take several months from start to finish, so do not hesitate. The sooner you begin, the sooner your record can get cleaned up, increase your chances of getting a job, and have your civil rights restored. If eligible, the court may grant the restoration of your right to own a gun in Arizona after a felony conviction or a domestic violence conviction.
We can’t wait to talk with you and help you on the path to improving your future!
Call now to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Civil Rights Restored Criminal and DUI Lawyer to discuss felony set aside or misdemeanor set aside.
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