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Expungments and Sealing of Criminal Records and Arrests
Arizona does not have an expungement statute that allows for the removal of a criminal record from the criminal history database or public record. Arizona does have a recently enacted statute, that allows for the sealing of a criminal record or an arrest, under certain circumstances.
To seal the record of a criminal conviction you must wait 10 years after you are off paper. In other words, completed Probation on class 2 or 3 felony. You must wait five years after you’re off paper on a class 4, 5 or 6 felony. You must wait three years to petition the court to seal the conviction on a class 1 misdemeanor and two years to seal the conviction on a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor.
In all cases, if an order of restitution was made upon your conviction and sentencing, that restitution must be paid in full before you can file your petition to seal the conviction record.
If you were arrested and never charged, you may have your arrest record, sealed as well. Keep in mind that the state of Arizona has seven years in which to file felony charges from the alleged date of the incident with the exception of no statue limitations on a murder charge.
If this is your first felony conviction, all of your rights are restored, automatically, except your right to possess a firearm when you get an unconditional discharge from imprisonment and again, pay your restitution in full. This would also include successful completion of probation.
Please note that the restoration of your civil rights does not apply to a person’s right to possess firearms as defined in ARS Sec. 13–3101. The right to petition the court for a restoration of your right to bear arms (possession of a firearm), may only occur if you were not convicted of a serious felony, unless 10 years has passed, since you have been off paper. This would include crimes against children and sexual offenses.
Individuals convicted of a dangerous offense, which includes the use of a deadly weapon or the intentional inflection of a serious physical injury upon another, are not eligible for restoration of your right to possess a firearm. The only way you will get your rights restored, is if the governor of the State of Arizona pardons you.
All of the above, applies to anyone that is convicted in the state of Arizona. If you come here from another state where you were convicted of a felony, your only recourse is to petition that state for a restoration of your right to possess a firearm. That would be assuming, they have a law similar to Arizona.
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