In many states the legal system allows for an expungement of your record. This means that you can have a criminal offense removed completely from your permanent record. In Arizona we do not have expungement. Instead we have a ‘Set Aside’.
Expungement in Arizona aka a Set Aside
In this video Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Burges McCowan explains what a set aside is.
This is Burges McCowan and in this video I’m going to talk about expungement versus set asides in Arizona.
Expungement is a term used throughout the country for removing prior convictions from your criminal history. There’s actually no such thing as expungement in Arizona. It’s not available to you, but there is something called a set aside which is similar.
The difference is with an expungement, it’s taken completely off your criminal history. With a set aside, it still shows up on your criminal history but it shows up as dismissed. There’s obvious benefits to that. If you’re seeking new employment and then the employer asks you if you’ve have any convictions, you can say no if they’ve been set aside.
If they’ve asked if you’ve ever been convicted, you’d still have to answer yes to that because you were in your past. But it can still be valuable to show that it’s currently a dismissed conviction. There is no conviction anymore.
Set asides can also have value for your if your prior is a felony because you can get your rights restored, your right to vote, your right to bare arms. There is some value there to a set aside. It isn’t that difficult to do. You just have to file something with the court and get the judge to agree to it.
I always tell my clients it’s best to wait sometime after they have completed all the requirement of their conviction. They want to wait at least six months usually. But after that, you can ask and as long as you’ve been law abiding and doing everything you should be as a citizen, you’ve got a good chance of getting that set aside.
It’s something you can do it yourself, but if you want help, I can help you with that. Give me a call, I offer free consultations and I can help.