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Set Aside Criminal Conviction in Arizona – How it Helps and Who Qualifies

Set Aside Criminal Conviction in Arizona – How it Helps and Who Qualifies

Arizonans who have criminal records may have to contend with many obstacles when they are looking for jobs or housing. While many states offer the ability to expunge criminal records, Arizona does not have an expungement statute. Instead, it has a different process that people might undergo to attain post-conviction relief from their prior convictions. This process is known as Restoration of Civil Rights and also to have Criminal Convictions Set Aside.

People who have felony convictions on their records are also unable to serve on juries or to own or possess firearms unless their civil rights have been set aside.

This article discusses the following topics below:

  1. Why consider filing a petition to set aside
  2. What does expungement and set aside mean?
  3. The process
  4. After the courts set aside a conviction
  5. Who does not qualify
  6. How long does the process take?
  7. Background checks
  8. How Attorneys can help

 


Why Consider Filing a Petitions to Set Aside a Conviction?

If you have a felony conviction on your record, it makes sense for you to file a petition to set it aside. People who have felony convictions may be unable to own weapons or to serve on juries. They may also fail to pass background checks for employment and for apartments. Some types of convictions may also make them ineligible for certain types of financial aid for higher education.

Setting your record aside may restore your civil rights. While you will have to disclose that you had a conviction, employers will not pay as much attention to it when a court has granted your petition and has set it aside. This might make it easier for you to secure employment and housing so that you can move forward with your life.

If you have a prior misdemeanor conviction, it may not make as much sense to ask for the court to set your misdemeanor aside. Most misdemeanor convictions will not cause you to lose your civil rights. Your attorney at DM Cantor can help you to decide whether it makes sense for you to file a petition to set your misdemeanor or felony conviction aside.

In a recent survey, ” SHRM found that while there is a willingness to hire people with criminal records, only 5 percent of managers and 3 percent of HR professionals said their company actively recruits people with criminal records.

Click to EnlargeDo companies hire employees with a criminal record?

 

Read More about Criminal Records Set Aside / Expungement…


Does having a DUI affect getting hired?

Convicted of a Crime on Job Application

 

Finding a job in today’s economy can be tough. Although that is a difficult task on its own for the best of candidates, adding an Arizona DUI conviction to your record can make a job search even more problematic. At best, you may find yourself embarrassed about your poor decision-making that led to DUI charges. At worst, you may not be able to work in your chosen field, travel to other countries without extra hassles or maintain the trust of your peers when you do gain a position. Even just getting to work each day can be made difficult, if you have a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

If you are charged with DUI in Arizona, it is very important that you seek the advice of a licensed Arizona DUI defense attorney. Through the help of an experienced lawyer, you can fight the charges for a possible dismissal or reduction of those charges or reduced sentencing. (more…)


What are my Options After a Conviction?

Just because you have been convicted of a crime does not mean that you have lost your case entirely. There is a Post Conviction Issues/Appeals process that seeks to overturn your conviction or modify the terms of a sentence. If you have lost civil rights due to a conviction, such as the right to vote, these right can sometimes be restored. An experienced criminal defense attorney can appeal your case in order to seek a more favorable outcome.

Post Conviction Relief Arizona: Filing PCR Petitions:
If a Defendant feels that he had ineffective assistance of counsel (this usually occurs with public defender cases); newly discovered evidence has been found which supports his innocence; or there has been a substantive change in the law, then he can file a “Post Conviction Relief Petition” (PCR).


Read more on Post Conviction Relief in Arizona.

Appeals:
A Defendant has 14 days from the date of their sentencing to file a “Notice of Appeal”. Also filed along with that is a “Designation of Record”. This will designate all of the documents and court reporter transcripts which will be necessary for the appeal. The higher court then issues a “Briefing Schedule” which gives time limits on when the “Appellant’s Brief” is to be filed.


Read more on Appeals.

Habeas Corpus:
“Habeas Corpus” is a Latin term for “that you have the body”. A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a motion which is filed most frequently to ensure that a Defendant’s imprisonment or detention is not illegal. It is sometimes used to test the legalities of an arrest or a commitment.

Read more on Habeas Corpus.

Sentence Modifications:
A “Motion to Modify Sentence” or “Motion to Modify Probation” can be filed at any time after the original Sentencing has occurred. Sometimes this can be as simple as asking for monthly probation fee or restitution fee to be reduced due to the financial hardship on a Defendant. Other times, it can include the deferral or deletion of jail time which was scheduled to begin at a future date.

Read more on Sentence Modifications.

Petition for Early Termination of Probation:
It is possible to terminate the probation in many cases when the Defendant has served approximately 50% of his probation term. In some cases, this can be done at a much earlier date. In fact, we have had numerous cases where a person has been placed on “lifetime probation” and we have had them terminated at a much earlier date (in one case, after a mere year and a half (1.5 years) from the date of sentencing).

Read more on Petition for Early Termination of Probation.

Expungement / Restoration of Civil Rights:
In Arizona, there is no such thing as a “Expungement”. However, Arizona does provide for what is known as a “Judgment of Guilt Set Aside” and a “Restoration of Civil Rights”. In essence, if the Judge grants the Motion to Set Aside Judgment of Guilt, then a Defendant can tell people that he has not previously been convicted of a crime.


Read more on Expungement / Restoration of Civil Rights.

Arizona Rule 32:
Under rule 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, an individual may appeal a conviction for one of three reasons: ineffective assistance of counsel, newly discovered evidence, or substantive change of law. Ineffective assistance of counsel refers to situations in which a defendant’s lawyer provided unprofessional or substandard representation that materially affected the outcome of the court proceedings. It is not enough to prove that a defendant received poor representation; you must also prove that the outcome of the case would have been better had you received more effective counsel.


Read more on Arizona Rule 32.

If there is an avenue for an Appeal of your case or a way to modify the terms of a conviction, the Cantor Criminal Defense Attorneys will find it and utilize it to your benefit.

The Cantor Arizona Defense Lawyers Team – BEYOND AGGRESSIVE!!!

It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is an Arizona Defense Lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of it’s lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Arizona Defense Lawyers know the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at 1-888-822-6867, or click here to contact us now.

The Criminal Defense Attorneys on the Cantor Team offer BEYOND AGGRESSIVE legal defense for Appeals and Post Conviction Relief issues in all courts in the Phoenix metro area, including Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Goodyear, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Buckeye, Avondale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage and in all city, state and federal court jurisdictions throughout the State of Arizona.

Contact DM Cantor and speak to an Arizona Defense Lawyer about your case. We will assist you with your Post Conviction Issues.


Expungement (Set Aside): Eligibility & Requirements

If you have a criminal record, it can make things quite complicated for you later in life. More and more today, businesses and employers are conducting background checks on applicants. If a landlord or employer finds that you have been arrested or convicted in the past, it can be difficult or even impossible to secure a home or job.

What Does it Mean to Expunge Records or to Set Aside?

If you have a criminal record, do not fret. You may able to erase, or seal, arrests or convictions from your record through a process known as expungement. While the details pertaining to expungement vary from one state to another, when you have your records sealed, you do not have to disclose them to such persons as landlords or employers. Expungement has other known names and meanings, such as Set Aside and Restoration of Rights.

Who is Eligible for Expungement?

Expungement procedures and eligibility requirements vary from one jurisdiction to the next. Thus, it is best to check with your county’s clerk of court to find out if you are eligible and what you need to do. You do not necessarily need to hire a lawyer to request an expungement. You simply need to fill out and submit a “Motion for Expungement.”

Most jurisdictions only allow for misdemeanor arrests and convictions to be expunged. Additionally, you can only request to seal your records after you have finished serving your sentence and probation. However, if you have a good reason for wanting your records sealed, you may be able to get your probation shortened.

What is a Certificate of Actual Innocence?

A Certificate of Actual Innocence is a form of expungement that not only seals your records, but it also states that they should have never even existed. This is a great option in cases where you were found not guilty or your charges were dropped at a later date. This certificate shows that you were innocent of the offense in question.

Offenses That are Easiest to Expunge

In most jurisdictions, if you were arrested or convicted of a drug or juvenile crime, you will have an easy path to expungement. The reason that drug offenses are easily expunged is because in most cases, you will be eligible for a diversion program, which usually provides for an automatic expungement once you complete the classes.

Juvenile offenses are often easily expunged after you turn 18. In fact, some jurisdictions automatically seal records after you turn a certain age. However, felonies cannot be expunged, and for you to seal your records, you cannot have any arrests or convictions after your juvenile offenses.

Is Expungement Always Beneficial?

In most cases, expungement is highly beneficial. However, there are a few cases in which your records can be accessed even if you had them sealed. Examples of this are if you choose to apply for a professional license or if you want to work in the field of law enforcement. With so many fantastic benefits though, expungement is certainly a great way to begin a new life. At DM Cantor, we have helped hundreds of people with this process. Check out our Expungement Victories section of our website.


US Federal Probe of AZ Schools for bias against Latino Teachers

Arizona Criminal Attorney David Cantor talks about the recent Federal Probe of AZ Schools and their possible bias against Latino Teachers. The article in the AZ Republic is a little fuzzy on details but it seems that AZ Schools are preventing non-native english speaking teachers from teaching certain classes because of their accents. David has his say but what do you think?


Employment Application and Your Criminal Past

Arizona Criminal Attorney David Cantor talks about handling your Criminal Past on an Employment application. It is important that you understand how different questions apply to your past. You should also have a good understanding of how your various criminal indictments will show up on a background check so that you are always up front and honest with a potential employer.


Click to Watch Important Questions to Ask when Hiring a Lawyer

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