Set Asides in Arizona

Set Asides and Expungement

Unfortunately for many of those convicted of a crime in Arizona, Arizona does not currently allow for the expungement of criminal records. That means that if you have been previously convicted of a crime in any court, regardless of whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, there will be a record of it. Arizona does, however, offer the next best thing – a petition for a set aside.

A set aside, as provided for in Arizona Revised Statues § 13-907, if granted means that the sentencing court sets aside the judgment of guilt in your case, dismisses the charging document, and orders that you be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction with the exception of some specific Department of Transportation and Game and Fish Commission ones. What this means is that if the set aside is granted, you can say that your case was dismissed.

What Do Courts Consider?

  • In deciding whether to grant a set aside, courts are required to look at a variety of factors set out by the statute, including:
  • Compliance with the terms of the sentence or probation
  • The nature of the offense underlying the conviction
  • Whether you have any subsequent or prior convictions
  • Time that has passed since the completion of the sentence
  • Age at the time of the conviction
  • Victim input and status of restitution, if applicable, and
  • Any other factor that the court finds to be relevant

Are There Offenses That Can’t Be Set Aside?

There are some offenses that can never be set aside, and they include:

  • Dangerous offenses
  • Offenses requiring registration as a sex offender
  • Offenses in which there has been a finding of sexual motivation
  • Offenses in which the minor is under the age of 15
  • Certain motor vehicle offenses

Should I Petition for a Set Aside?

A set aside does not remove a conviction from your record, but it does help you control the appearance of your criminal record by providing an annotation that the offense was set aside. It provides you with the ability to say that your case was dismissed because if functionally removes the judgment of guilt and dismisses the charging document. If you have been previously convicted of a crime then a set aside can go a long way in helping you get your life back to normal.

If you are considering a set aside for your conviction, you need an attorney to help you with experience in handling set asides throughout the state.

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