Sealing a Case In Arizona: Clean your record!


As we approach the New Year, many of us are reflecting on our past and setting resolutions for a fresh start. For those with a criminal record in Arizona, the new year brings a unique opportunity to turn over a new leaf by sealing their criminal records. This process not only offers a sense of closure but also a practical pathway to move forward without the burden of a past conviction overshadowing future opportunities.

Understanding the Power of Sealing a Criminal Record

Sealing a criminal record in Arizona under ARS 13-911 is a legal process that effectively conceals your criminal history from public view. This means that a background check performed by most employers, landlords, or educational institutions will not reveal any sealed criminal convictions, whether they be DUI arrests, misdemeanor convictions, or even felony offenses.

It’s a powerful step towards reclaiming your future and ensuring that your past does not define your opportunities.

The Process of Sealing a Criminal Record Under ARS 13-911

The process to seal a criminal record in Arizona is governed by specific legal procedures under ARS 13-911. Here’s a general overview of how it works:

Eligibility Assessment: Not all criminal records are eligible for sealing. Factors like the nature of the crime, the time elapsed since the conviction, and your subsequent criminal history play a role in determining eligibility.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-911, individuals can petition to have their criminal case records sealed. This process is available to individuals who:

  • Have been convicted of a criminal offense and fulfilled all court-imposed terms, including monetary obligations and restitution.
  • Were charged with a criminal offense, but the charge was later dismissed or resulted in a not guilty verdict.
  • Were arrested for a criminal offense, but no charges were filed.
  • To file a petition, the individual must do so in the appropriate court based on where their case was handled or where they were arrested if no charges were filed.

The court will not decide on the petition until 30 days after receiving it, unless both the prosecutor and any victims do not object to the petition. The court may grant or deny the petition without a hearing, unless requested by the petitioner, prosecutor, or victim.

Certain time periods must have elapsed since the completion of the sentence or probation:

  • 10 years for a class 2 or 3 felony.
  • 5 years for a class 4, 5, or 6 felony.
  • 3 years for a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • 2 years for a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor.

Filing a Petition: If eligible, the next step involves filing a petition with the court. This petition requests that the court seal your criminal record. It must include specific details about your conviction and the reasons why you believe your record should be sealed.

Court Process: Once the petition is filed, the court may schedule a hearing. During this hearing, you may need to present evidence supporting your petition. The prosecutor also has a chance to object or agree to the sealing.

Judge’s Decision: The judge will review the case and make a decision. If the judge approves the petition, an order will be issued to seal your criminal records.

Implementation: After the court order, the relevant agencies will be instructed to seal your records. This means that the conviction will not appear in most standard background checks.

If a petition is granted, the court will issue an order to seal all records related to the petitioner’s arrest, conviction, and sentence. The Department of Public Safety will then designate the records as sealed and inform relevant state and federal agencies. The person whose records are sealed may state, in all instances, that they have never been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of the crime in question, except in specific circumstances such as certain job applications or legal proceedings.

Sealed records will be available to the person whose records are sealed, their attorney, the victim, and certain entities for official duties or internal hiring practices, such as law enforcement agencies and prosecuting agencies.

If a petition to seal records is denied, a new petition cannot be filed until three years after the denial.

However, this statute does not apply to individuals convicted of certain serious crimes, such as dangerous crimes against children, serious or violent felonies, sex trafficking, or any offense involving the use of a deadly weapon or the infliction of serious physical injury.

At Alcock and Associates, our team can assist individuals in determining their eligibility for sealing records under ARS 13-911, preparing and filing the necessary petition, and representing them throughout the legal process. Our goal is to help clients achieve a fresh start and move forward without the burden of their past criminal records. For more information and to discuss individual cases, we offer free consultations.

At Alcock and Associates, we understand the profound impact a criminal record can have on your life. Our team is committed to helping you navigate the legal intricacies of sealing your criminal record. We offer:

Expert Legal Guidance: Our experienced attorneys can help determine your eligibility for sealing a record and guide you through the complex legal process.

Personalized Support: We understand that every case is unique. Our team provides tailored advice and support, ensuring the best possible outcome for your situation.

Comprehensive Services: From preparing and filing the petition to representing you in court, we handle all aspects of the sealing process.

Take the First Step Towards a New Beginning

If you’re looking to start the New Year with a clean slate, sealing your criminal record could be the key. At Alcock and Associates, we are here to help you through this process. We invite you to take advantage of our free consultation to discuss your specific case and understand how we can assist you in sealing your criminal record. This New Year, empower yourself with the freedom and peace of mind that comes from leaving the past where it belongs.

Remember, sealing your criminal record isn’t just about hiding a past mistake; it’s about creating a foundation for a brighter, more promising future.

Contact Alcock and Associates for a Free Consultation and Begin Your Journey to a Fresh Start.

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Here at Alcock and Associates our team and staff are dedicated to helping and representing YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.


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Alcock & Associates P.C.
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Phoenix AZ 85004