Expungement of Criminal Records – General – Arizona
1. What is an expungement?
The process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges.
What records may be expunged? DNA records and records of juvenile offenders. In the case of DNA records, the person’s DNA profile resulting from their conviction may be expunged from the Arizona DNA identification. § 13-610. In the case of a juvenile offender, the record of the conviction may be expunged. § 13-921.
The effect of an expungement is that the record is erased and legally deemed not to have occurred.
2. Who is eligible for an expungement?
A person who has had their DNA sample taken in connection with a criminal conviction and:
1. The criminal charges are not filed within the applicable period prescribed by section 13-107.
2. The criminal charges are dismissed.
3. The person is acquitted at trial.
4. The convintion is overturned on appeal or postconviction relief and a final mandate has been issued.
Also, a minor sentenced to probation who then successfully completes probation. The minor must have been under 18 at the time of the offense.
How do I get an “Expungement”? In the case of a person convicted whose DNA sample is taken, that person may make a petition to the superior court in the county in which the conviction occurred.
A person may also get a conviction set aside upon petition to the court. The following is an Arizona statute:
13-907. Setting aside judgment of convicted person on discharge; application; release from disabilities; exceptions
A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, every person convicted of a criminal offense, on fulfillment of the conditions of probation or sentence and discharge by the court, may apply to the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate who pronounced sentence or imposed probation or such judge, justice of the peace or magistrate’s successor in office to have the judgment of guilt set aside. The convicted person shall be informed of this right at the time of discharge.
B. The application to set aside the judgment may be made by the convicted person or by the convicted person’s attorney or probation officer authorized in writing.
C. If the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate grants the application, the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate shall set aside the judgment of guilt, dismiss the accusations or information and order that the person be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction other than those imposed by:
1. The department of transportation pursuant to section 28-3304, 28-3306, 28-3307, 28-3308 or 28-3319, except that the conviction may be used as a conviction if such conviction would be admissible had it not been set aside and may be pleaded and proved in any subsequent prosecution of such person by the state or any of its subdivisions for any offense or used by the department of transportation in enforcing section 28-3304, 28-3306, 28-3307, 28-3308 or 28-3319 as if the judgment of guilt had not been set aside.
2. The game and fish commission pursuant to section 17-314 or 17-340.
D. This section does not apply to a person convicted of a criminal offense:
1. Involving the infliction of serious physical injury.
2. Involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
3. For which the person is required or ordered by the court to register pursuant to section 13-3821.
4. For which there has been a finding of sexual motivation pursuant to section 13-118.
5. In which the victim is a minor under fifteen years of age.
6. In violation of section 28-3473, any local ordinance relating to stopping, standing or operation of a vehicle or title 28, chapter 3, except a violation of section 28-693 or any local ordinance relating to the same subject matter as section 28-693.
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