SETTING ASIDE CONVICTIONS, RESTORING CIVIL RIGHTS AND SEALING ARREST RECORDS
Arizona does not allow expungement of criminal convictions.
Arizona does however, allow for criminal convictions to be vacated. This permits the restoring of civil rights (i.e. voting, sitting on a jury and gun rights) via a process called, “Setting Aside” of both felony and misdemeanor convictions.
Most state criminal convictions (see exceptions below) in Arizona can be “Set Aside”. Essentially, a conviction that is Set Aside is treated as if it has been revoked or cancelled.
The Set Aside procedure is a toll that persons convicted of crimes might be able to use to lessen the negative impact of their criminal conviction and criminal record.
Setting Aside a conviction is controlled by Arizona Revised Statutes §13-907, which states:
“Every person convicted of a criminal offense, on fulfillment of the conditions of probation or sentence and discharge by the court, may apply to the judge…to have the judgment of guilt set-aside. The convicted person shall be informed of this right at the time of discharge.”
What this means is the conviction may be Set-Aside at the discretion of the court. There are no guarantees.
Attorney Michael L. Frame practices, in part, in the field of Setting Aside Convictions, Restoring Civil Rights and Sealing Arrest Records all over Arizona. Cities including but not limited to Phoenix, Tucson, Sierra Vista, Mesa, Flagstaff, Bullhead City and Bisbee.
A Set Aside may be available if a person was convicted of one or more felonies in an Arizona Superior Court and that person has obtained a successful, and absolute discharge from probation or prison. See exceptions to this rule below.
If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor in a Justice or City Court and has successfully completed all court orders, that person might be eligible to have the conviction Set Aside.
Some legal disabilities resulting from criminal convictions, as in civil traffic driving issues, may remain, to wit: The Arizona Department of Transportation to may enforce A.R.S. §§ 28-3304, 28-3306, 28-3307, 28-3308 or 28-3309 as if it had not been Set Aside.
Common disabilities include ignition interlocks and license/privilege driving suspensions.
TIMING AND WAIVING OF APPEAR:
In considering the services of Michael L. Frame, you must be aware of the following:
In general, convicted persons must wait 2 years after their probation/parole has ended to ask the court to Set Aside the conviction. Then, after the Set Aside paperwork is filed with the court, relief usually takes 3-4 months for State convictions.
The Petition to Set Aside will meet more resistance from the government, when a person has accumulated more convictions, or other problems with the law. But it still can be done, times are a-changing (especially with State marijuana laws).
Under many circumstances, Attorney Michael L. Frame can request that the client's presence be waived before the Court in the Set Aside proceeding. That means you don't have to travel to Court!
DEALING WITH A JOB APPLICATION OR JOB INTERVIEW.
A person whose conviction has been set aside must disclose the conviction if the employment application asks if the applicant has a prior conviction. An applicant must disclose any and all previous convictions of an offense, if asked about prior convictions during a job interview.
However, it would be wise for the applicant to answer “yes, but conviction was set Aside and vacated and the charges dismissed.” The court uses this language in setting aside a conviction.
Most persons believe in the statement that, “you paid your debt to society” and will over look your conviction-all they want is for you to be honest with them.
EXCEPTIONS TO SET ASIDE
A Set Aside is not available to a person convicted of a criminal offense:
- If the conviction caused serious physical injury/death;
- Convictions with the use of a deadly weapon/dangerous instrument;
- Convictions involving sexual offenses/registration/motivation;
- Convictions where victim is a minor under the age of 15 years of age; and
- Various traffic offenses and convictions impacting civil disabilities involving suspension of a driver's license or privileges.
SEALING ARREST RECORDS.
For the wrongfully arrested, there is a way to get the record of an arrest sealed.
Under ARS §13-4051,
“Any person who is wrongfully arrested, indicted or otherwise charged for any crime may petition the superior court for entry upon all court records, police records and any other records of any other agency relating to such arrest or indictment a notation that the person has been cleared.”
Don't be judged by a mistake by law enforcement.
If a Judge believes that “justice will be served” by the sealing of a record, the judge shall “issue the order requiring the entry that the person has been cleared on such records.” If the request is granted, then all law enforcement agencies and courts “shall not release copies of such records to any person except upon order of the court.”
If a person who has notice of such order fails to comply with said order, they may be liable to the person for damages.
Yet, remember that these requests are by no means automatically granted, and the decision to seal any record is based on judicial discretion.
Attorney Michael L. Frame can help you get convictions up to 50 years old set aside under the parameters herein.
A Set Aside can restore valuable civil liberties such as voting, holding public office, exercising your 2ND Amendment Rights and participating in jury duty.
A Gift Idea: For someone convicted of a felony, A Set Aside can be an extremely valuable gift for Fathers Day, a birthday or holiday gift. And, once ordered by the Court, the conviction is Set Aside and the person is no longer a felon.
Sealing wrongful arrest records are always beneficial if due to false allegations to one's character and reputation and can all eliminate potential damage to your future.
Don't be judged from a wrongful arrest in your past!!