Starting on December 31, 2022, Arizona will begin allowing individuals with criminal convictions to apply to have these convictions expunged pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-911. Expungement will effectively seal criminal case records, after the convicted individual has completed all terms and conditions of the sentence imposed by the Court. According to a Memo released on 8/1/2022 by Dave Byers, Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, unlike the expungement of marijuana-related “records under Prop 207, the sealing of records under” this new expungement law “does not restrict access of the sealed records by law enforcement, prosecutors, and others who are performing specific types of background checks or clearances; nor does it restrict the use of sealed criminal case records in the assertion of prior arrests or convictions. What this new law does do is remove the case records from public access and allow an individual to state that they have never been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime that is the subject of the arrest or conviction, including in response to questions on employment, housing, financial aid or loan applications.”
There are important timelines to be aware of for this new law. Applicants must complete all terms and conditions of the sentence imposed by the Court (including paying all fines, fees, and restitution), and must apply after the waiting period required for the specific class of misdemeanor or felony the individual wishes to have expunged. The waiting periods are as follows:
- Class 2 or 3 felonies = 10 years
- Class 4, 5, or 6 felonies = 5 years
- Class 1 misdemeanors = 3 years
- Class 2 or 3 misdemeanors = 2 years
*Some additional waiting periods may apply for individuals with historical prior felony convictions.
Expungement will not be available for the following offenses:
- Dangerous offenses (as defined in ARS 13-704)
- Dangerous Crimes Against Children (as defined in 13-705)
- Serious, Violent, or Aggravated felonies (as defined in 13-706)
- Any offenses involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or the knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another person
- Sex Trafficking (as defined in 13-1307)
- Sex Offenses and/or Sexual Exploitation of Minors (as defined in Chapter 14 or 35 of the Arizona Revised Statutes)
If you think you might be eligible to have your conviction(s) expunged, you should hire an attorney to handle this important matter on your behalf. Beginning on January 1, 2023, Matthew Lopez Law will begin accepting expungement cases for Maricopa County. We look forward to being able to help you get this process completed so you can move forward without the conviction impeding your ability to get employment, housing, financial aid, and so much more.
Call 602-600-MATT for a FREE consultation!