Sealing Arizona Criminal Records: New 2023 Law

Arizona's new 2023 Law: Sealing Arizona Criminal Records

Man's hands in handcuffs - Arizona criminal record sealing new law in 2023

According to a new Arizona law, beginning January 2023, people with a criminal history in Arizona may apply to “seal” their criminal records. Historically, Arizona has only offered the option to “set aside” your previous criminal convictions.

Arizona Revised Statute § 13-911 will take effect on January 1, 2023, and will allow certain Arizona criminal records to be “sealed.” For many people with Arizona criminal records, this new law granting the ability to seal those records is a big, important change to our legal system.

Can you seal criminal records in Arizona? Who is eligible for Arizona’s new record sealing law? Can I apply now to have my Arizona criminal record sealed? Who can I call to get help with the process?

Below, our Arizona criminal defense lawyers have compiled everything you need to know about Arizona’s new record sealing law.

Everything You Need to Know about Arizona's Criminal Record Sealing Law

What does “sealing” my criminal record do? 

If your Arizona criminal record is not sealed, it is a matter of public record. This means that it’s available to the public through online resources or court records requests.

Alternatively, if the judge grants your petition to seal your record, any record of your arrest, conviction, and sentence will be sealed. Once your record is sealed, it will no longer be available to the public. Instead, the records will only be available to law enforcement, prosecutors, and other agencies that perform specific types of background checks or clearances.  

Furthermore, with a sealed record you’ll be allowed to state that you have never been arrested, charged, or convicted with the sealed offense. This can be especially beneficial when you’re applying for things like housing, employment, financial aid, and loan applications.

What’s the difference between sealing criminal records and getting a conviction set aside? 

When a person gets their conviction set aside, the conviction remains on the person’s record and available to the public. Additionally, a person who has had their conviction set aside must still disclose their conviction when asked about it on applications for things such as housing, employment, financial aid, and loan applications. 

Who is eligible for criminal record sealing in Arizona?

Under this new law, a person who has been arrested, charged, or convicted of a criminal offense in Arizona may petition to seal their record. Further, even if you were never charged, or your case was later dismissed, you may be eligible to seal your record!

Nearly all offenses, except class one felonies and certain violent or sexual offenses, are eligible to be sealed. A complete list of ineligible offenses can be found in Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-911(O). 

How long after a conviction do I have to wait to seal my criminal record?

If you were convicted for the offense you wish to seal (not simply arrested, or charged but you were later acquitted) there is a waiting period before you become eligible to petition. The waiting requirements range from two to ten years after you complete your sentence AND all monetary requirements.

Further, the length of the waiting period is based on the class of felony or misdemeanor you were convicted of. Additionally, if you receive any subsequent convictions, those convictions will extend the waiting period by a number of years. 

Who decides whether my record will be sealed? 

The decision as to whether your record will be sealed will be up to the judge reviewing your case. This decision will be fully discretionary, which is why it is important to have an attorney who can advocate for you and present your application in a persuasive manner. If the judge denies your application to seal your record, you cannot apply again for another three years.  

Tait & Hall’s Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyers

We can get started TODAY with the process of sealing your Arizona criminal record.

Our Arizona defense attorneys are highly experienced, know the Arizona judicial system, and will fight for the outcome you deserve.  If you’ve been arrested, charged, or convicted for a crime in Arizona, you may be eligible to get your records sealed.

We want to guide you through the process.

Call Tait & Hall TODAY: (480) 405-6767

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