Expunging an Adult Criminal Record (or Setting Aside a Conviction) in Arizona

It is not technically possible to expunge – that is, erase or seal—an arrest or charge on an Arizona criminal record. Your criminal history will remain on the books until you reach the age of 99, even if you have completed probation. (Ariz. Admin. Code R13-1-102 (2018).) Under certain circumstances, however, you may obtain some of the benefits of expungement by asking to have your conviction “set aside” under Arizona law.

In addition, if your criminal history record contains mistakes, you can have your record corrected.

Can You Have Your Conviction Set Aside in Arizona?

Arizona does not have an expungement law, but you may be able to have a felony or misdemeanor conviction set aside. A set aside won’t remove the charge or conviction from your criminal record. However, anyone who checks your criminal record—for example, a potential employer—will also see the set aside order. In other words, they will know that you satisfied all the conditions of your probation or sentence, that a court vacated the conviction, and that all the charges against you were dismissed.

Set asides are not available when you have been convicted of:

  • a dangerous offense
  • a crime that requires you to register as a sex offender
  • an offense involving a finding of sexual motivation
  • a crime in which the victim is under 15 years of age, or
  • certain driving offenses.

(Arizona Statutes § 13-907 (2018).)

To learn more about having a conviction set aside, visit the Arizona Department of Public Safety website or consult a lawyer.

Correcting Mistakes on Your Criminal Record in Arizona If You Were Wrongfully Charged

If you were arrested, indicted, or charged for a crime and then cleared of all charges, you may ask the superior court to note on your criminal records that you were cleared. (Arizona Statutes § 13-4051 (2018).)

Vacating the Conviction of a Human Trafficking Victim in Arizona

If you were convicted of prostitution as a result of having been a victim of human trafficking, you may ask for the record of that conviction to be vacated. Once your conviction is vacated, under most circumstances you may state that you were never arrested for, charged with, or convicted of the crime. (Arizona Statutes § 13-907.01 (2018).)

Correcting Other Mistakes on Your Criminal Record in Arizona

To correct most mistakes on your criminal history record in Arizona, you should contact the Arizona Department of Public Safety and request a Record Review Packet. You can correct your record by completing and submitting a form called “Review and Challenge of Arizona Criminal History Information,” which you can obtain from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The state criminal records agency will review your form and, if corrections are necessary, it will update your record. For more information, visit the Arizona Department of Public Safety website.

Getting Legal Help

The rules for cleaning up a criminal record in Arizona are complicated, and the law can change at any time. To learn more about getting a criminal record set aside in Arizona—and to discuss your personal circumstances—you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.

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