Everybody has made mistakes in their lives – bad ones. Yes, the criminal justice system is designed to punish those who make more severe mistakes. However, the criminal justice system is also designed to rehabilitate those who are willing to take extra steps to transition into one’s community with a new mind-set. Expunging your conviction could be your first step into re-entering society and starting fresh.
What Is Expungement And Setting Aside?
In Arizona, expungement means the same as setting aside. The two terms are used interchangeably. Technically, expungement means to completely wipe out a judgment or order. It no longer exists in public records. Setting aside means to cancel or revoke an order. The original is still available, however, it is modified or changed to show that the defendant successfully completed the terms of their punishment. Each state defines and applies the two terms differently. As stated above, Arizona uses them interchangeably, so expungement in Arizona does not wipe out the conviction, thus, the record still exists.
What Will Your Criminal Record Show If Your Conviction Is Expunged Or Set Aside?
The record will show the original charge and conviction, however, it will also show that the judgment was vacated and an order of dismissal was entered.
Why Expunge Or Set Aside Your Conviction?
A criminal record carries a stigma, which can thwart one’s effort in being a positive addition in one’s community. Misdemeanors generally have less of an impact, however, a felony not only carries a stigma, but it can prevent one from finding employment and housing, voting, holding public office, and possessing firearms.
How To Get Your Conviction Expunged Or Set Aside?
To get your conviction expunged or set aside, go online and submit an application to the superior court in the county where you live. For example, if you live in Maricopa County, go to clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov, scroll down to Criminal Court Forms, and click on Restoration of Civil Rights Instructions and Application. Fill out the application and send or fax the document to the court.
The least of your worries should be filling out documents, so let us ease your transition by having one of our experienced attorneys handle it. We will also help you get your rights restored, which can be a complicated process.