Having a criminal record has many negative consequences for your life but these mistakes need not haunt you forever. Expungement allows you to leave your past behind so you can focus on your future.
It is a legal process by which a criminal conviction or legal arrest record is “sealed”, effectively erasing it. Expungement does not mean that the arrest or conviction is gone; rather, in most cases, it has been removed from the public record. This means that, if a potential employer or other interested party does a background search or other public records inspection, no record of your conviction or arrest will appear.
Once your record has been expunged, you don’t have to disclose your past arrest or conviction when you fill out an application form. If you apply for a job and you are asked, you can honestly say you have never been convicted of a felony criminal offense.
This makes it much easier for you to find a job. Understandably, most employers are wary of hiring somebody with a past conviction or arrest, no matter how minor it is. When you get an expungement, you no longer have to reveal these past indiscretions to prospective employers.
Some states also bar employers from taking an expunged arrest or conviction into account when making a hiring decision. This means that, even if an employer were to find out that you had a conviction that was expunged, they still have to treat you like any other applicant.
You maintain your credibility if asked to testify in court. If you are a witness in a case, a lawyer from the opposing side may try to discredit you by pointing out that you had a past conviction. However, if your conviction has been expunged, they are no longer allowed to do so, even if they know about it.
It restores your eligibility to get a professional license in your state. While you still have to disclose your expungement, your application for a license will not automatically be denied. In fact, an applicant having successfully been approved for expungement may be more likely to be approved for a license.
Although there is no expungement law in Arizona, under certain circumstances you may have your felony or misdemeanour conviction “set aside”. This means that, while the conviction is not removed, if an interested party requests your criminal record, it will reflect that you have fulfilled all the conditions of your sentence or probation, all the charges were dismissed, and the court vacated your conviction.
If you want to apply to have your conviction “set aside”, it is important that you engage the services of an experienced criminal attorney as the law is complicated and may change suddenly.
The Law Offices of Attorney Gary L. Rohlwing is a criminal defense lawyer and serves the areas of Glendale, Phoenix, Avondale, Goodyear, Peoria, and all of Arizona. He will examine your expungement case and tell you if you are eligible. If you are, he will help ensure that you get the best outcome for your case.
Contact Attorney Rohlwing’s offices at (623) 937-1692 to schedule a free initial consultation.