Phoenix Expungement/Set Aside Lawyer

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Phoenix Expungement/Set Aside Attorney

One mistake you make in your past should not have a permanent and devastating impact on your future. If a criminal conviction is causing you to lose potential career opportunities, find appropriate housing, or obtain a bank loan, consult an experienced attorney on the legal avenues having the conviction “set aside.”

Even after you serve whatever sentence is imposed upon you for a criminal offense, having a conviction on your record can be severely limiting in terms of educational opportunities, career options, and even the availability of housing. Fortunately, there are some circumstances under which your criminal conviction may be “set aside,” significantly minimizing its long-term effects on your life.

Although Arizona does not have an option for expunging a criminal record, there are ways of improving your prospects through set aside status. This process, commonly referred to as “expungement,” may be an option worth discussing with a skilled attorney. If you are struggling to move on from a past mistake that led to legal trouble, get support from a Phoenix expungement/set aside lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group.

WHAT CAN BE “SET ASIDE” IN PHOENIX?

The state of Arizona does not explicitly establish “expungement” as an option for people convicted of crimes under state law. Instead, the law refers to the process of clearing a convicted defendant’s record as “setting aside a conviction.” As per Arizona Revised Statutes §13-905, a convicted person who has completed all terms of imprisonment or probation and fulfilled all other requirements included in their post-conviction statute may petition for the court to “set aside” that conviction.

Notably, there are some criminal offenses that cannot be set aside in Arizona, including:

Certain traffic-related violations, such as driving with a revoked and suspended license, are also not eligible to be set aside. A local expungement attorney can provide further clarification about whether a specific offense could be set aside under current state law.

WHEN CAN I REQUEST A SET ASIDE?

It is important to understand when to apply for a set aside. People who have a prior conviction cannot always file a set aside request immediately, as there are conditions that a convicted person must meet before they can file such a petition. The petitioner must have completed all jail or prison time, fulfilled the terms of any probation, and paid all fines and restitution to be eligible to request a set aside.

An attorney who has experience filing these petitions in Phoenix can help a convicted person determine when to request a set aside.

REASONS TO PURSUE A SET ASIDE

Lenders, landlords, and potential employers all have access to public records. If someone has been previously arrested, charged, and convicted of a crime, these parties can gain immediate access to this information by running a background check. As such, setting aside a prior conviction for a crime can have positive effects in various areas of a person’s life, including child custody disputes, licensing for a job, or for other situations where a clean record is important.

It is important to note that a set aside is different than expungement, which is not an option in Arizona. When a criminal record is expunged, the individual can say they have never had a conviction for a crime. With a set aside, the conviction will still show up on the person’s record with the “set aside” status. This status is more favorable than a simple conviction and can open new opportunities for employment, loans, and housing.

FACTORS IN A SET ASIDE PETITION IN PHOENIX

Before a judge approves a set aside application, they will review various factors as well as consult the parties who may have been injured by the original crime. Some of the factors that may determine whether a set aside petition is accepted include:

  • The circumstances of the original crime
  • How well the convicted person has complied with their probation and other terms of the sentence
  • Whether they have committed additional crimes
  • How much time has passed since the crime was committed
  • Other relevant factors, such as the person’s age at the time of the original conviction

A knowledgeable local attorney could further advise on these factors and help a person with their set aside application.

BASIC STEPS IN THE EXPUNGEMENT PROCESS

Pursuing a “set aside” in Phoenix begins with a formal written motion submitted to the court, which a knowledgeable lawyer can help accomplish effectively and efficiently. The court may consider various factors when reviewing such a petition, including the nature of the offense, whether the petitioner has provided restitution to their victim(s) and/or complied with conditions of probation, the petitioner’s age, and how much time has passed since the petitioner’s original conviction.

CERTIFICATE OF SECOND CHANCE

If the court grants the petition, they will generally provide the petitioner with a “certificate of second chance.” This specifically releases the petitioner from “barriers and disabilities” to obtaining certain occupational licenses that came with their conviction and provides the protections listed under ARS §12-558.03 to any employer or housing provider who later works with the petitioner.

Notably, a conviction that has been set aside in Arizona will remain on the petitioner’s criminal record, although that record will show that the set aside was granted. An experienced Phoenix attorney can further explain the legal details of pursuing a set aside.

LEARN MORE FROM A PHOENIX EXPUNGEMENT/SET ASIDE ATTORNEY

While a set aside does not completely erase a conviction from your criminal record, it can help you gain access to various opportunities and move forward with your life. If you have a prior conviction and want to learn more about this option, contact a Phoenix set aside lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group.

For people convicted of crimes under Arizona state law, “setting aside” a conviction can be hugely beneficial to qualifying applicants. It is also possible for first-time offenders convicted of felonies to have certain civil rights restored through a similar process.

A Phoenix expungement lawyer can answer your questions and offer guidance about potential courses of action during a confidential initial meeting. The legal team at Grand Canyon Law Group is here to protect your rights and way of life. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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