What does a Phoenix Arizona Expungement Lawyer Do?
So it is not expungement in Arizona, it’s called “Setting Aside a Conviction” and there’s a statute directly in the Arizona Statutes called Setting Aside a Conviction. It’s ARS Arizona revised Statute 13-907.
For your personal knowledge, here is a page on expungement (setting aside a conviction) from the Arizona legislature with a lot of useful information about what in Arizona qualifies for setting aside a conviction.
What Does it Do for Someone Convicted of a Crime in Arizona?
The statute allows for a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor to set aside a conviction. Basically it says that anybody convicted of a criminal offense can apply to have their charge conviction set aside, with certain exceptions. This can be done upon completing their sentence or probation term or discharge from prison. There can be no other remaining conditions. Or, if you’re put on probation, you completed your probation successfully and you paid off your fines and fees or restitution. All of those things have to be completed before you can apply. Then, if that’s the case a person can apply to set aside the conviction and judgment. There are certain exceptions to the ability to apply. Under ARS 13-907E there are five exceptions to the ability of applying to set aside a conviction:
What Does it Do (continued)?
- If the events involved a dangerous offense the dangerous offense in Arizona is deemed as anything involving a weapon of any type or
- If you are ordered to register as a sex offender or
- If your crime involved a sexual motivation or
- If the crime involves a person under the age of 15 where the victim is under the age of 15 you cannot apply or
- The crime involves a motor vehicle as specific to certain other ARS statutes.
All other people convicted of a crime may apply. There is an application process. I always recommend that you consider using an attorney to do this and here’s why: even though you can do this on your own, the court it’s really looking for some specific information in order to make the best determination. If this information is not provided to them, you may lose the case whereas you could have won with the right information.
There’s not a lot of attorneys that do this in Arizona. I am one of the attorneys that does very regularly and I’ve had a lot of success doing it. I would say probably about half or more of the applications that I put in for setting aside convictions have been granted.
Why would I want to apply to expunge or have my conviction set aside?
The value of it is, for example, a person that is trying to obtain employment may be able to compete better for a job if their conviction has been set aside. In other words the conviction will show on your record but if you can go to the potential employer and show them you know the court has ordered that your conviction is set aside that that means that you have obviously not only fulfilled all the terms and conditions of your sentence and/or your probation, but you remain law-abiding. Because one of the things the court looks at it in deciding to set aside a conviction is, have you remain law-abiding for a significant period of time?
There is no statute that governs this or specifies a period of time to wait. Usually it’s at the court’s discretion. So generally I tell people if you just finished your sentence or you just got off probation you may want to wait some time, even a significant period of time. Six months, a year, two years before you apply because the court may want to see a good track record – we want to make sure this person is staying out of trouble..
Sometimes people are looking for loans or housing or applying for some other position or benefit and setting aside a conviction may help them. Sometimes it it could help with an immigration court. I’ve heard immigration attorneys tell me that setting aside a conviction may help them because the immigration court will take that into account.
What Offenses Do You See Most Often to Be Set Aside?
I would say drugs DUIs and domestic violence offenses, as long as it didn’t involve a dangerous offender those are generally the people that made a mistake but they’re they’re generally good people right they’re not they’re not habitual criminals. They are just people who had a bad day and things went awry and ultimately they’re convicted.of a small drug offense, a DUI, or a domestic violence offense such as a husband and wife or boyfriend-girlfriend kind kind of relationships where there’s an argument or a fight.
The police come out; somebody gets charged with disorderly conduct or assault on the domestic violence offense. Some of the drug offenses where people get caught with possession of marijuana or they get caught with a little bit of cocaine or something like that. It’s not that they’re bad people. It’s that they used poor judgement and made a mistake. But they are able to show that they’ve learned from this negative situation and they have successfully moved on.
What’s The Reason for Your High Success Rate as an Expungement Lawyer Phoenix Arizona?
In regard to being a Phoenix Arizona expungement lawyer, that’s been through experience, from trial and error. On the applications that I’ve been successful with, what I’ve noticed is that what usually helps is that a significant period of time has passed and again you know there is no set period of time. Obviously, the more serious the offense is, probably the longer the time should pass before they apply.
If it’s a misdemeanor I would suggest people apply right away. But if it’s a felony and if it gets more and more of a serious as a felony you better wait longer than less. The other thing I’ve seen a lot of people apply on their own and they just fill out a form. It’s basically a one-page form. But that doesn’t tell the court anything right other than your name your date of birth your address etc.
Here is why people hire me to do this is: I sit down with the client and get some background information. I say, let’s talk about your crime what happened during your crime. Is there any information we can provide provide the court to explain the crime? For example, I had a lady who committed a drug offense. I asked her why did you commit that drug offense? “Because my mother was ill – she needed to have surgery. I was desperate so I got involved in this.”
Obviously it didn’t justify what she did. But sometimes a little bit of an explanation like that goes a long way. Then certainly coupled with the fact that she had no other criminal record, either before that conviction or after that conviction. Maybe this person can show this.
For the best chances of being successful as a Phoenix Arizona expungement lawyer, I often encourage people to provide me letters of character from not only family but friends, co-workers, employers, any people in the community that can say: look – this person has really turned their life around right now. They can give examples of that. That’s always very helpful. Then anything else that they’ve done – I have had people give me certificates for all kinds of things that they’ve done.
Therapy, volunteering, giving time to the community such as a cub scout leader or a soccer coach. Any information that we can provide to the court to show this person had obviously got a ding on the record but this was isolated in nature. It’s never happened before that hasn’t happened since. This person has obviously turned the corner on this thing and is leading a law-abiding productive life. We provide all that information to the court and I think that person ahead of everyone else who just submits the form. Now the court is seeing reasons why this person should be granted their conviction to be set aside.
Should a Person Call you To Help?
Yes, I am happy to help and I provide a free consultation to even see if there’s an opportunity to get your conviction set aside as a Phoenix Arizona Expungement Attorney. If you have been convicted of a crime here in Arizona, done your term (or finished your probation) and paid your fines and fees, or are about to, give us a call at The Ferragut Law Firm. We can help you decide if applying to have your conviction set aside has a good potential to be approved by the court so you can live the rest of your life with less legal baggage on your back. Call us today at 602-324-5300 – I look forward to hearing from you!
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