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How Does DUI Expungement Work in Arizona?

Posted on July 11, 2023 in DUI

If you are convicted of driving under the influence, or a DUI, in Arizona, it will remain on your criminal record for life. A DUI conviction could affect your ability to obtain a professional license, drive for a living, qualify for loans and more. Having the record expunged, or sealed, could be a tremendous relief, allowing you to put the incident behind you. As of January 1, 2023, Arizona permits certain people to have their DUI criminal records expunged.

What Is Record Expungement?

Criminal record expungement means to remove or erase a criminal conviction entirely. When an expungement order is issued by the criminal courts, the petitioner’s criminal record is sealed or destroyed. It will no longer be viewable by the public, including employers and landlords. It also will not affect future criminal cases involving the individual, as the courts will be directed to treat the conviction as if it had never occurred.

Arizona’s New Expungement Law

Beginning on January 1, 2023, a new law in Arizona allows certain people to qualify for criminal record expungement. Previously, Arizona only permitted individuals to have their records set aside. This meant that the record was not sealed or erased, but it was given a note that the individual completed all the requirements of the sentence and probation. The new law (Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-911) allows eligible people to file a petition to have their records sealed. This includes DUI records.

Who Can Get a DUI Expunged in Arizona?

If you have a DUI on your record, you may have the right to file a petition for expungement. In Arizona, an individual who has been charged with or convicted of a DUI crime could qualify for record expungement in the following circumstances:

  • If official DUI charges were never filed
  • If the DUI case was dismissed
  • If the individual was charged but then acquitted (found not guilty at trial)
  • If the individual was convicted but has since completed all conditions of the sentence, including paying all fines and restitution to victims

Convictions for dangerous offenses, dangerous crimes against children, an aggravated felony, the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, and certain felonies are generally not eligible for record expungement.

How to Have a DUI Expunged in Arizona

Having your DUI record expunged in Arizona could give you a fresh start. If you wish to file a petition for criminal record expungement, you must first complete the waiting period. The length of the mandatory waiting period depends on the type of offense. It ranges from 2 to 10 years for a low-grade misdemeanor to a class 2 felony. A prior felony conviction on your record will extend the waiting period by five years.

Then, you or your Tempe DUI defense attorney must fill out and submit the required petition for criminal record expungement. The courts will have 30 days to review your petition and either accept or deny it based on your qualifications. If your petition is denied, your attorney can help you understand why and file a follow-up petition, if possible. Your Tempe DUI defense lawyer will protect your best interests in your pursuit of a better future after a DUI conviction.

When to Contact a DUI Expungement Lawyer

Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to help you with DUI record expungement in Arizona can make the legal process easier and improve your odds of a successful petition the very first time. This can save you time, stress and money. To find out if you are an eligible candidate for DUI expungement under Arizona’s new law, contact Rosenstein Law Group for a free and confidential case consultation. Our attorneys can review your case and explain how we can help with record expungement. We are dedicated to helping clients move forward from DUI arrests.

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