Many people who are convicted for driving under the influence want to know exactly when their record may be eligible for setting aside the conviction after all conditions of punishment are satisfied. The set aside is Arizona’s version of an expungement.
A criminal history in general can be a real ongoing problem for those convicted, and especially when the charge is for impaired driving. This can be a factor in obtaining employment and even eligibility for government services or housing when there is a drug charge connected to the DUI record.
Receiving a DUI citation is a watershed moment in the life of many and expunging the record can be of great importance for those turning over a new leaf in life. Luckily in Arizona, there is a path to cleaning up the record of your conviction after filing a petition to set aside.
The first element of requesting a set aside in Arizona is assembling all records associated with the case and proving all penalties have been satisfied as ordered by the court. This includes any probationary period that was ordered following the charge or parole in the event of significant jail time.
The seriousness of the charge can have an impact on a judicial decision. The court is not required by law to approve setting the record aside, which is what happens in Arizona. Many states seal the record from public view, but Arizona actually dismisses the case after the convicted defendant presents an organized request for dismissal based on their personal rehabilitation.
It is vital to be prepared if you want to make a successful set aside request. For your DUI Arizona set aside, you will typically need records proving:
- Paid fees and fines
- Completed probation or parole periods
- Jail sentence completion
- Completing mandatory alcohol and / or drug education classes
- Completing interlock ignition device order periods
Another component of a set aside in Arizona is the allowance of personal testimony from people within the local community supporting the claim of rehabilitation. This can include anyone from police officers to clergymen or city council members, or practically any other member of the community who can attest to a new direction in life for the petitioner.
The purpose of the set aside in Arizona is based on the concept of a fresh start, but the court maintains that a fresh start must be earned beyond completing the required conditions of punishment. Having an experienced Arizona set aside attorney preparing your request means you have a legal professional representing the case who understands what the court will accept as proof of rehabilitation.
Importance of a Waiting Period
There is no statutory waiting period for set aside eligibility in Arizona, unlike many other states. Sealing a record is generally routine in some states, as each conviction is assessed individually.
Subsequent personal criminal activity does not necessarily affect the sealing of some records in other states. This is not the situation in Arizona. However, a reasonable amount should pass from the completion of the sentence to show you have been rehabilitated..
Any run-ins with law enforcement from the date of offense till the filing of the set aside, can have a major negative impact for those striving for a DUI set aside. A successful set aside for an adult will “release” the individual for “all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction.”
While it is not absolutely necessary to have an Arizona DUI lawyer preparing and representing a set aside, it is by far the most effective method for a successful petition. There are specific details that must be provided when the request is filed, and the court is not obligated to even grant a hearing when certain legalities prohibit the ruling. The attorney you choose can be the ultimate difference between an approved setting aside of the record and a court denial.
Anyone who is seeking an Arizona DUI conviction to be set aside should contact the law office of Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, in Scottsdale for more information.
Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law
10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260