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Can Misdemeanor Charges Be Expunged from a Criminal Record?
Interviewer: If someone had a misdemeanor charge and they have a conviction, what are their options after that? Could their misdemeanor be expunged or sealed after a certain amount of time?
Arizona Courts Permit Only a Motion to Set Aside
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: Arizona doesn’t have expungement. We call it a Motion to Set Aside. Sometimes in misdemeanor cases, if you go forward with sentencing and, say, there’s no probation and the person can pay the fines and fees right away, you can actually petition the court right away to have your case set aside. The judge can rule on that almost immediately.
Some court judges allow that to happen almost immediately. Other times you have to wait and finish paying the fines or go through the probation. So it depends on whether you have probation associated with that or have more obligations to fulfill. For example, if you have community service, the judge will require you to finish all of that before you can petition to have it set aside.
Arizona Has Three Classes of Misdemeanor Charges
I wanted to go into more detail about the misdemeanor levels. In Arizona, there are three different classes of misdemeanors. There’s Class 3 Misdemeanor, which is up to $500 fines and 30 days in jail. There’s a Class 2 Misdemeanor, which is up to $750 fine and four months in jail, and a Class 1 Misdemeanor, up to $2,500 in fines and six months in jail.
Interviewer: When a motion to set aside is filed, does that mean that employers have access to that information?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: It can still appear but rather than saying a judgment of guilty, it just says set aside.
Interviewer: Still, either way the situation works, like a DUI or something like that, there are several, different charges on there. It doesn’t look good.