Criminal Record Expungement

In today’s episode Chuck talks about expungement. He explains why you can’t have charges expunged in Arizona.

Criminal Record Expungement Video

Hello friends. I’m going to bring up this subject because I keep getting phone calls literally every day from people that want to know if they can get their criminal records expunged. The word expungement means to remove from public database and court records; things like that.

Arizona currently does not have an engagement statute. We do have a statue that allows you to apply to the court  to set aside your conviction and set aside the sentencing and the judgement (assuming all the fines are paid and you’ve done your jail time) and changes the notation  next to your conviction. If the change is done properly, it should say “Conviction Set Aside”. It also gives a restoration of your civil rights if it is a felony, so you get your right to vote back. If you are at the same time applying for that you can apply for your state gun rights back.

The County Attorney’s Office here in Maricopa County never used to oppose these applications and now they are doing it, especially if you ask for your gun rights. Why they’re doing it, I don’t know, but the biggest issue it seems to my clients at least in wanting to get this done is because they are attempting to rent an apartment. With a felony conviction or any kind of conviction a lot of these apartment management companies are not allowing  you to sign a lease.

The application really does not have as much of an affect from what I have heard and from what my clients have told me.  There is a bill before Governor Ducey where  you could eventually have your conviction expunged meaning nobody can see it.  Even if you have your conviction set aside, it is still there for purposes of a prior conviction.

Here is a Hypothetical: If you were found guilty of aggravated  assault and I get it set aside, and you get your gun rights back (which may be a small miracle). But you pick up another felony down the road, the expunged felony could be used as a prior. It is still there for the police agencies and prosecutors to see it. Does it have a practical effect? Only if the person who is reading it understands what you have done. If they don’t, then as far as they are concerned you still have a conviction. Whether it is a misdemeanor or a  felony.

Felonies are probably  more serious obviously when it comes to renting an apartment but if you have a domestic violence conviction which is a misdemeanor, that could probably still keep you from  ranting an apartment or house. Hope you understand that, thank you.