It is important to know that if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in Arizona, it will remain on your record until you turn 99 years old. Even if you request the court to set aside qualifying convictions, the conviction will not be removed from your criminal record. However, setting aside such offenses, including domestic violence charges, does provide people with a fresh start.
Is an Expungement the Same Thing as a Set Aside
Expungement is the legal process by which a criminal conviction record is destroyed or sealed from federal or state records. This order directs the court to treat the conviction as if it had never happened, effectively removing it from both the defendant’s criminal and public records.
In Arizona, while there is no traditional expungement process, the state does provide the option of “setting aside” a conviction, which offers similar benefits to an expungement. For instance, many domestic violence-related offenses could be set aside under the laws in the state, providing individuals with the opportunity to obtain a dismissal of their charges and the restoration of their civil rights.
However, it should be noted that not all convictions are eligible for this relief. To determine if you are qualified to set aside your domestic violence charge, consider consulting with an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer who can provide you with the necessary assistance and guidance.
What Does It Mean To Set Aside a Conviction in Arizona?
When the court approves an order to set aside a conviction in Arizona, the judge will set aside the judgment of guilt, dismiss the complaint, information, or indictment, and order that you be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction. However, while setting aside your conviction does not remove it from your record, it does restore several civil rights that are usually revoked from those with a criminal conviction.
Crimes That Cannot Be Set Aside in Arizona
Although many misdemeanor and felony convictions can be set aside, there are five situations where a convicted individual is ineligible to have their conviction set aside. These situations include the following:
- A crime that involves inflicting serious physical injury
- A crime for which there has been a finding of sexual motivation
- A crime where the victim is under the age of 15
- A crime that involves the exhibition or use of a deadly instrument or weapon
- A moving violation where the driver’s license was revoked or suspended
How Can You Set Aside a Domestic Violence Charge?
To be eligible to set aside a domestic violence charge in Arizona, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Complete all the terms of your sentence, including payment of fines, jail or prison time, and probation.
- The court may consider the time elapsed since your conviction and the behavior you exhibited during this time.
- The nature of your offense, since not all offenses are eligible to be set aside.
Contact Territorial Law, LLC, Today and Fight for Your Rights
For further information about setting aside your domestic violence charge in Arizona, contact Territorial Law, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation and learn more about your legal options.