Can You get Rid of a DUI Record in Arizona?
Despite the fact Arizona treats a DUI as a serious crime with significant legal consequences, it is possible to get rid of a DUI record after a DUI conviction. It is important for anyone convicted of a DUI to pursue this legal remedy allowed in Arizona since a DUI record has lasting ramifications.From license suspensions to court-mandated community service and difficulty gaining employment, the effects of any DUI conviction are far-reaching. However, Arizona does not allow the slate to be wiped clean via expungement. Instead, Arizona uses a process known as a "Motion to Set Aside Conviction."
Expungement Vs. Set-Aside
In most states, the legal term for having a criminal record erased is known as expungement. Arizona does not use the concept of expungement, except for juveniles who have committed a crime. As such, expungement is only available to defendants who committed a crime and are under 18 years of age.
For all other defendants, the path to setting aside a DUI conviction occurs through a process known as a set-aside. A set-aside differs from an expungement in one key respect. Namely, a set-aside does not mean that a criminal conviction can be erased entirely or sealed.
Even if a defendant who is granted a set-aside successfully completes probation, the criminal history for a DUI conviction will remain. However, the set-aside does vacate the defendant's judgment of guilt.
The vacation of judgment will help defendants obtain employment more easily and may renew a convicted defendant's right to vote, possess firearms and hold public office. Further, most set-aside cases result in a defendant having the ability to state they are not currently convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
DUI Offenses Are Eligible for a Set-Aside
A.R.S. Section 13-907 is an Arizona law that states a set-aside releases individuals from all penalties and consequences stemming from a conviction. Moreover, this statute also goes on to stipulate which convictions are eligible for a set-aside.
As it turns out, the overwhelming majority of criminal convictions in Arizona are eligible for a set-aside, which includes DUI offenses. If you or a loved one has been convicted of a DUI offense, it is important to know that the set-aside can only be issued by an Arizona court.
This effectively means that a defendant with a DUI conviction must apply for a set-aside to the judge who pronounced the sentence or another Arizona office holder with the legal authority to set the conviction aside.
Factors an Arizona Court Considers When Determining Whether to Issue a Set-Aside
When a set-aside is requested, an Arizona court will typically look at factors like the following:
The severity of the DUI offense
The defendant's behavior since the criminal conviction
Whether the applicant upheld the terms of the sentence that was issued
The duration of time since the conviction
If a set-aside is granted after the court considers all relevant factors, then the application will be considered granted and the conviction will be set-aside.
Applicants hoping to receive a set-aside will need to pay fees and fines as well as complete the probation period and meet all court-mandated obligations. Tyler Allen Law Firm represents defendants with DUI convictions by providing reliable legal counsel needed to receive a set-aside, such as filing the motion to set aside the conviction.
Contact us online to discuss the facts of your case and set-aside application for a legal consultation with a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today.