Every criminal conviction is a serious matter. However, your run-in with the law does not need to impact you for the rest of your life. In many cases, it is possible to clean up your criminal record and improve your prospects, allowing you to move forward.
After most criminal convictions, you have the right to ask a court to set aside that finding. This can result in the total dismissal of the charge and eliminate most future penalties related to the offense. However, not every person will succeed in applying for this option, so it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney on a strong petition. At Grand Canyon Law Group, a Scottsdale set aside lawyer is ready to answer your questions and take the lead in helping you get a fresh start.
The state law that creates the set aside program is Arizona Revised Statute § 13-905. This statute outlines how to request a set aside, when these motions are appropriate, and what factors may eliminate a person’s ability to seek this relief.
A set aside allows a person to remove a criminal conviction from their public record. As such, it is only possible to seek this relief if a criminal conviction has already occurred. Additionally, the person seeking a set aside must have fully completed their sentence related to the offense. This includes paying all fines, completing jail sentences, and finishing time on probation or parole.
The law also creates a waiting period for set aside motions after the conclusion of a case. During this time, a person should consult a Scottsdale set aside lawyer on pursuing a certificate of second chance. This certificate helps remove the barriers to employment and occupational licenses that a criminal record may create. There is no waiting period for misdemeanor cases. If the case was a class 4, 5, or 6 felony, the waiting period is two years. Class 2 or 3 felonies require a person to wait five years.
While a set aside is available for most convictions, the statute does exclude specific offenses. These include dangerous offenses, offenses that require a person to register as a sex offender, and felonies where a victim was under the age of 15. Our seasoned local attorneys can help people determine their eligibility for set aside status.
As a matter of law, a criminal court must inform people of the right to seek a set aside at the time of their sentencing if their offense qualifies. However, the courts are not responsible for starting these proceedings. Instead, people must file petitions with the court to ask for a set aside and certificate of second chance.
The State provides a copy of the form that a person must use to request this relief in Maricopa County. Separate but similar forms will be relevant for other locations. In addition to information about the petitioner, the form must also include data concerning:
In addition to the application, the petitioner must also include a copy of their certificate of discharge from the Arizona Department of Corrections and a copy of their Discharge from Probation. Applicants can also include any other information that they may feel would help a judge to make an informed decision. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our dedicated attorneys are ready to help convicted individuals submit the necessary documentation for a set aside motion and certificate of second chance.
Receiving a criminal conviction does not need to have a permanent negative impact on your life. You may be able to apply to have your conviction set aside and seek a certificate of second chance that allows you to move forward with your life. As long as you have completed your sentence and remained out of trouble, a court may accept this petition.
A Scottsdale set aside lawyer at our firm is ready to provide more information and help you to draft and submit these petitions. If necessary, we can even appear in court to argue your case on your behalf. We believe you have a way of life worth fighting for, so reach out to us today and let us get to work for you.