Setting Aside Criminal Convictions

Having criminal convictions on your record can keep you from getting a job, finding housing, using federal benefits, and getting loans.  A.R.S. § 13-907 is the Arizona statute that permits a judge to set aside criminal convictions. https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/00907.htm

Arrest

A.R.S. § 13-907(A) provides that a person who has been convicted of a criminal offence may apply to the judge to have the judgment of guilt set aside.  If the judge grants the application, the accusations or information are dismissed and the person is released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction except those imposed by the Arizona Department of Transportation and Arizona Game and Fish Commission according to A.R.S. § 13-907(C).  The person’s right to possess a gun or firearm is restored unless he or she was convicted of a serious offence as defined by A.R.S. § 13-706.  See A.R.S. § 13-907(D).

A person cannot apply to set aside a criminal conviction if one or more of the following apply:

  • The criminal conviction involved a dangerous offence defined in A.R.S. § 13-105(13) as an offence involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another person.
  • The criminal conviction required the person or the court ordered the person to register as a sex offender pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3821.
  • The criminal conviction was found to have a sexual motivation pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-118.
  • The criminal conviction involved a victim under fifteen years of age.
  • The criminal conviction concerned a local city ordinance relating to stopping, standing or operation of a vehicle in violation of A.R.S. § 28-3473 which makes it a misdemeanour to drive on a suspended license.
  • The criminal conviction concerned a violation of Title 28, chapter 3, except a violation of A.R.S. § 28-693 or any local ordinance relating to the same subject matter as A.R.S. § 28-693.  Title 28, chapter 3 deals with traffic and vehicle regulation which are usually civil offences. A.R.S. § 28-693 prohibits reckless driving.

The judge who sentenced you or his/her replacement has discretion concerning whether or not to grant your application.  Ideally, your application shows that you have had no further trouble with the law and are a productive member of society.

An application to set aside your criminal convictions is an important step that should not be taken lightly.  You need an experienced attorney to prepare your application. Attorney Gary Rohlwing has over three decades of experience.  Please call him today for a free consultation.

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