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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…


Arizona’s Open Container Laws, Questions and Answers

Arizona’s Open Container Laws, Questions and Answers

While most drivers in Arizona know that they cannot drink and drive, some might be unaware that they also are prohibited from having open containers of alcohol in their vehicles. If you are stopped by the police and have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, you can be charged with violating the state’s prohibition against having an open container of alcohol in your car. It is not a defense to a charge of having an open container that you were not drinking alcohol from it at the time.

It also does not matter that you are of a legal age to possess and consume alcohol. An open container conviction may come with serious penalties. If you have been charged with a violation of the state’s open container laws, the attorneys at DM Cantor may be able to defend you against the charge.


What are the Open Container Laws in Arizona?

In Arizona, having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle is prohibited under A.R.S. § 4-251. Under this statute, you cannot have an open container of alcohol inside your vehicle’s passenger compartment. An open container includes any bottle or can of an alcoholic beverage that has had its seal broken or some of the beverage removed, including wine, spirits, beer, mixed drinks, or malt liquor. The law does not prohibit transporting unopened bottles of alcohol that you have purchased at a store or have been given by friends as long as their seals are not broken. However, if you go out to a fine-dining establishment and order a bottle of wine, you can be charged with an open container of alcohol violation if you subsequently transport the remaining wine home in your car after dinner.

If you are charged and convicted of a violation of the open container law, it is a class 2 misdemeanor. Under A.R.S. § 13-707, you may face a sentence to jail of up to four months. Under A.R.S. § 802, you can also face a fine of up to $750 for a class 2 misdemeanor conviction in Arizona. A conviction for violating the state’s open container law means that you would have a criminal record, which could also cause other problems for you at your job or with finding a job that you want.


What if a Passenger in Ride-Share like Uber or Lyft?

Open alcohol in backseat of car

Arizona’s open container law does include some exceptions. The rule does not apply to people who are in the living areas of motor homes. It also does not apply to passengers in taxis, limousines, or a transportation network company vehicle. In A.R.S. § 28-9551, a transportation network company is defined as a company that has been licensed by the state of Arizona to connect passengers and vehicles with rides over a digital network. This would include ride-share services like Uber, Lyft, and any others that have been licensed by the state to offer ride-share services, which would mean that you should not be charged with violating the state’s open container law if you transport an opened bottle of alcohol home while you are taking a ride in an Uber or Lyft vehicle.

If you are an Uber or Lyft driver, you also should not face charges for violating the state’s open container law if one of your passengers has an open container in his or her possession while you are using the service. If you a ride-share driver and have been cited for an open container, contact our defense attorneys immediately.

Read More about Open Container Laws in Arizona…


Arizona Wrong Way Drivers – Causes, Possible Charges & Defenses

Arizona Wrong Way Drivers – Causes, Possible Charges & Defenses

In Arizona, one of the most dangerous types of accidents that may occur is a wrong-way crash. People who are involved in head-on collisions with drivers who are driving the wrong way are much likelier to suffer catastrophic injuries or to die. Drivers who drive the wrong-way may do so for a number of different reasons. If they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their accidents, they may face a variety of different types of criminal charges that carry severe penalties.

People who are facing criminal charges for driving the wrong way and causing a collision should seek help from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Phoenix at DM Cantor. Our legal team includes four lawyers who are board certified criminal defense specialists, and we have secured more than 4,700 victories for our clients, including victories in more than 2,900 DUI and vehicular crimes cases.


Wrong-Way Car accidents vs Other Types of Collisions

Wrong-way driving occurs when a driver drives his or her vehicle in the wrong direction on a highway, freeway, or road. According to the Federal Highway Administration, an average of 300 to 400 people are killed in the U.S. each year because of collisions with wrong way drivers. While this number represents just about 1% of the total number of traffic fatalities that happen each year, wrong-way collisions tend to be much more serious than other types of accidents. This is because these accidents often occur on highways and freeways where the speed limits are higher.

According to a study that was completed by the Arizona Department of Transportation reporting from 269 wrong-way crashes during a 10-year span from 2004 to 2014, 25% of wrong way crashes involve fatalities. Among other types of collisions on highways, only 1% involve fatalities. A large majority of wrong-way accidents occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and 65% of the crashes are caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. AZDOT also found that 57% of these crashes happen on the weekends.

Because of the problem of wrong-way driving in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2423 into law in March 2018. This law amended multiple statutes and made wrong way driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs a felony offense. It is crucial for people who are charged with a wrong-way driving offense to seek help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon after they have been charged as possible. An attorney at DM Cantor may identify all of the possible defenses to the charge and work to build the strongest defensive strategy for his or her client.

Continue Reading About Criminal Charges and Possible Defenses…


False DUI Breath Test Because of Diabetes

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar can cause numerous side effects. Some of these include slurred speech, wobbling when walking, poor motor skills and increased acetone levels in the blood. For diabetics, a sudden drop in blood sugar can result in failed DUI blood and breath tests.

Questioning accuracy of breath tests

There have been suits where defendants in DUI cases have proven that breath tests are not always accurate. Because a breath test cannot discern between the types of alcohol on the breath, they can give a false positive reading. Some instances have been reported where someone who has not had anything to drink fails a test due to high acetone levels. Diabetics, people who have been working in areas where spray paint is being used, and someone who has recently eaten bread may have higher levels of acetone as well.

When you fail a field breath test

If you have failed a field breath test, it is important to notify the arresting officer that you are diabetic. In most cases, it is a good idea to ask for a blood test as well. However, it is important to note that a blood test may still show increased BAC levels if you are diabetic.

What you need to know about breath tests

There are some important things to remember about breath tests if you are stopped for a suspected DUI.

  • Check your state laws – In some states, you are required to submit to a breath test. Check with your Department of Motor Vehicles for the laws in your state. Other states allow you to refuse the breath test and opt for urinalysis or blood tests.
  • Breath tests do not measure BAC – BAC or blood alcohol counts cannot be determined by a breath test. These levels may only be obtained by blood tests.
  • False readings are possible – False DUI breath tests are possible if you are diabetic, if you have been smoking or eating or if you have jewelry in a tongue piercing.
  • Body temperature may play a role – Many people are unaware that an elevated body temperature may have an impact on breath tests. Some tests show that when body temperature is elevated by one degree, a breath test may show an increase of as much as eight percent.

If you are diabetic and stopped for driving under the influence, notify the officer that you are diabetic. If your state law allows you to refuse a breath test, it may be a good idea to do so. If you are arrested for DUI and you feel that your breath test provide a false positive result, contact an attorney right away.

Diabetes is a serious disease and most diabetics are unable to consume small amounts of alcohol without having a negative impact on their health. However, whether you have consumed any alcohol or not, you may still be the victim of a false DUI breath test. Make sure you know your rights.


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