The Importance of Setting Aside Your Arizona Criminal Conviction

Posted by Raymond Kimble | Apr 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Convictions and criminal records can have a significant impact upon a person's life.  For example, a person's criminal records can hinder their ability to obtain government benefits, secure student loans or live in certain apartment communities.

There are steps people can take to lessen the negative impact a conviction can have on their lives.  Although criminal records are not extinguishable in Arizona a person can apply to have their conviction set aside.  Under A.R.S. 13-905,   One of the requirements imposed by the legislature is that an individual seeking to have their conviction set aside must completely fulfill all of the conditions of probation or sentence and have been discharged by the court

The Effect of a Conviction Set Aside

A Set Aside does not eliminate a criminal conviction such as an expungement (which is not available in Arizona). Any search of a person's criminal history  will still include the conviction. However, there will be a notation indicating that the conviction was Set Aside. This means that you have fulfilled all of the terms of your sentence.  Additionally, the case will be dismissed and the judgment of guilt previously entered against you will be vacated.   All disabilities and penalties resulting from the conviction are forgiven except:

  1.  Those imposed by  the Department of Transportation
  2.  Those imposed by the Game and Fish commission
  3.  Information related to the conviction as used in a subsequent prosecution for other criminal offenses
  4.  Convictions which are set aside can still be considered by the Department of Public Safety when examining a fingerprint clearance card application.

The Benefits of setting Aside a Conviction

Although a conviction which has been set aside will still appear on your criminal record, there are several benefits to having this completed.  Initially, it is a sign to others that you are serious about your future and took steps to avoid additional legal difficulties.  Also:

  • Employment - Although you would have to disclose the conviction on a job application, many employers look positively at set asides as there is a showing that the judgment of guilt has been vacated and charged have been dismissed.
  • Housing -  Similar to employment, landlords will want information regarding a person's criminal history, convictions, etc.  An order which sets aside a conviction and dismisses a criminal charge can be viewed in a positive light if an applicant for housing is asked to explain prior arrests. 

Offenses Which Cannot Be Set Aside

Unfortunately, certain offenses are not eligible to be set aside.  These include:

  1. Dangerous Offenses
  2. Offenses for which a person is ordered to register as a sex offender
  3. Offenses which include a finding of sexual motivation by the court
  4. Felony offenses involving a victim under the age of 15

Finally, although a conviction is set aside, there are limitations which still apply.  Again, the conviction must be disclosed when completing job applications as it will still appear on your criminal record with a notation that the conviction has been set aside.  Moreover, felony offenses can result in the suspension or loss of civil rights such as the right to vote or possess a firearm.  An application to restore civil rights should be made separately.  Finally, even though a conviction is set aside, it can still be used against someone who is prosecuted for criminal charges in the future. 

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If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale or any other city within Maricopa or Pinal County and are interested in having your conviction set aside,  it is vital that you contact a highly skilled criminal lawyer immediately. Tempe criminal defense attorney Raymond Kimble has assisted many people in setting aside convictions and can prepare the required pleadings in any manner so that the process is completed smoothly and without delay.

With a seasoned Tempe criminal defense lawyer on your case, you will have your rights protected as your attorney fights to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf. Attorney Raymond Kimble has successfully represented hundreds of individuals throughout Arizona over the last twenty years who have been accused of various Criminal, DUI and Drug/Marijuana offenses.

About the Author

Raymond Kimble

About Raymond Kimble Attorney Raymond Kimble has built his law practice on the philosophy that each client deserves consistent individual attention. Ray realizes that being charged with a DUI or criminal offense is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. A DUI, felony or misdemeanor arrest can involve prison or jail time, probation, huge fines and a criminal record. Consequently, people who face DUI, felony or misdemeanor charges in Arizona are placed at risk of losing employment or being barred from future job opportunities. Ray works to lessen his client's anxiety by ensuring that they have direct access to him at all times and can reach him by e-mail, cell phone or text during normal business hours as well as nights or weekends if they have a pressing question or concern. Raymond Kimble is a dedicated DUI and criminal defense lawyer who has built a reputation of working tirelessly to protect his client's constitutional rights, their future and liberty. Ray strives to provide the strongest defense possible for each client despite the obstacles they may face. Put Experience to Work for You Raymond Kimble's twenty years of experience with respect to DUI, misdemeanor and felony criminal charges extends well beyond law school where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class. Ray was a police officer for ten years prior to becoming an attorney. As a police officer, Ray was trained in both DUI and criminal investigation and his personal involvement in criminal cases while a police officer certainly gives him a unique perspective when reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and challenging physical evidence. Ray often identifies legal issues or mistakes made by police during an investigation through his own personal experience as a patrol officer. In addition to his police experience, Raymond Kimble worked as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where he was responsible for prosecuting DUI, felony and misdemeanor crimes. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ray conducted a number of jury trials and hearings related to the admissibility of evidence. Through his involvement with these cases as a prosecutor, Ray learned how to properly evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a DUI, misdemeanor or felony charge and became skilled in jury selection, argument, and the direct and cross examination of both civilian witnesses, experts and police officers. Of course, Raymond Kimble's expertise extends beyond his experience as a police officer and prosecutor. Specifically, Ray has successfully represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years throughout Maricopa County, Arizona. To best serve his Clients, Raymond remains current on changes in the law as well as police tactics by regularly attending seminars focused on defending criminal charges and reading the latest articles and books related to DUI and criminal defense. Ray also regularly writes criminal defense blogs and posts so that people faced with a criminal charge are better informed about their rights.


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