There are few things in life, as you may have discovered, that have longer-lasting consequences than a criminal record. In the past, whether they had served out their “debt to society” or not, having a felony conviction haunted individuals throughout the course of their lives.
Recent and ongoing changes in Arizona law have made it possible to erase criminal records completely under some circumstances. The process, as you know, is expungement and its availability has expanded greatly.
What are the conditions for having my record expunged?
While there are some serious offenses for which expungement is not currently a possibility, you can bring a petition for expungement if you have met certain criteria:
- A petitioner must have completed all the original sentencing requirements
- A petitioner must not have any additional convictions within a set period of time following the original conviction
- A petitioner must have waited a prescribed period before applying for expungement
What benefits come from having my record expunged?
Once the court expunges your conviction, you have the right to say on any job application that you have a clean criminal record. In some cases, you regain the right to possess firearms. In most instances, you are not disqualified from applying for professional and occupational licensure. You will once again gain the ability to apply for public jobs.
Arizona’s laws on expungement, retired adjudication, juvenile records and many other legal processes are undergoing continual review and revision. For those desiring to remove the stigma of past convictions, this is an era of new hopefulness.