A criminal record may be expunged in the state of Arizona, which means that the criminal conviction contained in the record will be destroyed or erased. An expungement also prohibits the general public from accessing the criminal files or its related information stored in computers. However, the conviction can still be accessed for future criminal prosecutions.
Circumstances for Expungement
Both juvenile and adult records may be expunged under Arizona state law. Courts allow more juvenile records to be expunged than adult records.
Adult convictions that qualify for expungement include:
- The defendant’s criminal charges have been dismissed
- The defendant was acquitted at their trial
- The person’s conviction was overturned on appeal or subjected to post-conviction relief with a final mandate being issued
Minors who have been sentenced to probation may have their record expunged if they successfully complete the probation and were younger than 18 years old at the time of the crime.
In order to obtain an expungement, the defendant must first file a petition with the superior court in the county where the conviction occurred. The defendant then needs to submit all relevant documents and pay a filing fee. Once a court has ordered an expungement, the records may no longer be accessed. Any references to the conviction will generally omit details and will only indicate that the record has been expunged.
Consulting an Attorney
A Arizona expungement lawyer can help guide you through the expungement process. They can also speak on your behalf during court and can help you file all the necessary paperwork. In other words, the lawyer can present your case to the judge in a better light than you may be able to.