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Criminal Law Blog

Understanding the Process of Sealing Criminal Records in Arizona

October 14, 2022

The laws in Arizona have recently changed with regard to the process of sealing criminal records. If you or a loved one wishes to begin the process of sealing your criminal records, you may want to seek the advice or assistance of a Tucson attorney to help you navigate the complexities of the court system and ensure a favorable outcome. Read on to learn more about the new process: 

Why You Should Request that Your Records Be Sealed

There are many and varied benefits to having your criminal record sealed. Having your records sealed can improve your chances of securing employment post-conviction because your conviction will not show up on a standard background check. Sealing your criminal record can also help you if you’re applying for citizenship or citizenship benefits. Additionally, it can help you if you plan on applying for professional licensing one day, such as becoming a licensed therapist or land surveyor. Finally, sealing your criminal records can have a favorable outcome on your chances of securing housing benefits in public housing or with a private landlord or property management company.

Who can request their records be sealed?

You can apply to the court to have all case records pertaining to a criminal offense sealed if you were:

  • Convicted of a criminal offense and completed all terms and condition of any sentencing imposed by the court, including the payment of all fines, fees, and restitution to victims, and other monetary obligations.
  • Charged with a criminal offense that was subsequently dismissed or resulted in a not guilty verdict at trial.
  • Arrested for a criminal offense that did not result in charges being filed.
  • You have not been convicted of any other offenses other than misdemeanor traffic violations, excluding a conviction for driving under the influence.
  • The appropriate amount of time has passed since you completed the conditions of your probation or sentencing, and your case was discharged by the court.
    • 10 years for a Class 2 or 3 felony
    • 5 years for a class 4, 5, or 6 felony
    • 3 years for a class 1 misdemeanor
    • 2 years for a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor
  • A conviction was entered before, on, or after December 31, 2022.

How to Request to Have Your Records Sealed

You must formally petition to have your criminal records sealed in each court in which you have been convicted or the court in which you had an initial appearance if there was no conviction. You must complete a formal Petition and Order to Seal Criminal Case Records following the instructions provided by the court. You must provide as much information as possible for the court to make a decision. If insufficient information is provided, the judge may deny your request or set the matter for a hearing. 
If you would like more information about filing a petition and order to seal your criminal case records, or would like assistance in filing the petition, contact us at Janet Altschuler’s office. Our experienced legal team can ensure your petition is filed completely, correctly, and in a timely manner so you have the best chance of an order being granted. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (520) 200-5003 or contact us online.

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