If you have ever been arrested and charged with a crime, you know all about the negative impact this can have on your life. But for once, there is some good news — even if you have a criminal history, you may now be eligible to wipe the slate clean by effectively erasing your past.
New Laws Offer Hope.
Starting on January 1, 2023, a new law took effect in Arizona: A.R.S. § 13-911. This law allows for the sealing of arrest and court records in many cases, even if the defendant was convicted. Unlike older sealing laws, this “clean slate” doesn’t require a person to prove they are innocent and it doesn’t require them to prove the charges were groundless. With some exceptions, that means even a person convicted of a serious crime is eligible to have their record wiped clean.
The technical requirements of the law are complicated, but the Maricopa County Superior Court describes it as offering a “Second Chance” to many struggling with a criminal history:
On December 31 [taking effect Jan. 1, 2023], Arizona passed a new law allowing defendants and individuals to have their criminal case or arrest record sealed by petitioning the court. After considering the application, along with additional information from the State and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Court may grant or deny the request,” Criminal Court Administrator Nicole Garcia said.https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/communications-office/2023-press-releases/new-law-provides-a-second-chance-through-sealing-of-records/
Arizona’s new law even allows a person to DENY they have a criminal record, if the Court grants their petition. A specific provision in the law explains: “A person whose records are sealed pursuant to this section may state, in all instances, that the person has never been arrested for, charged with or convicted of the crime that is the subject of the arrest or conviction, including in response to questions on employment, housing, financial aid or loan applications …” That means a person who has received an order sealing their record can legally say “No, I have never been arrested” on a job application (subject to some exceptions set forth in the statute).
That is a BIG deal.
If you are interested in filing a petition to seal your arrest records, we can help. We can help prepare and file your petition for a one-time flat fee, as long as you meet the law’s technical requirements. If you want more information, send a 100% confidential inquiry to: David@GingrasLaw.com or give us a call at: (480) 264-1400.