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How Does DUI Expungement Work in Tucson, Arizona?

Posted on September 13, 2023 in DUI

Recently, Arizona changed its expungement laws to allow individuals with certain types of criminal convictions on their records to file a petition to have the record expunged. This includes people with driving under the influence (DUI) convictions. If you are curious whether you qualify for DUI expungement in Tucson, Arizona, contact an attorney at Rosenstein Law Group for a free case review.

What Is DUI Expungement?

Driving under the influence is a crime that can remain on an individual’s record for life. Having a DUI on your record could affect your future in various ways, such as impacting your ability to get certain jobs (especially driving jobs) or qualify for professional certifications. Expungement could give you a second chance; it is essentially a clean slate that erases your criminal record. 

Expungement is an order issued by the court to destroy a record of a criminal conviction or have it sealed from the state or federal record. With a DUI expungement, the courts are ordered to treat a DUI conviction as though it had never occurred. It removes it from a defendant’s criminal record. While expungement is not “forgiveness” for committing a crime or a pardon, it can erase a DUI from public record so it is not searchable by employers or landlords.

Who Qualifies for DUI Expungement in Tucson, Arizona?

Effective January 1, 2023, Arizona changed its expungement laws by passing Senate Bill 1294. This created the state’s first record-sealing law. Prior to this, records could only be set aside in Arizona, meaning a conviction would be marked as “dismissed” in public records. Now, individuals can file to have DUIs and various other criminal convictions expunged or erased.

Anyone who meets the following qualifications can apply to have a DUI record expunged under the new law in Arizona: 

  • Convicted of a DUI, and all terms and conditions of the DUI sentence have been completed.
  • Charged with a DUI but never convicted (e.g., case dismissal or acquittal).
  • Arrested for a DUI but no criminal charges were ever filed.

There is also a mandatory waiting period before an individual can file to have a DUI record expunged. The length of this period depends on the classification of the offense. It ranges from two years for a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor to 10 years for a class 2 or 3 felony. Most DUI convictions in Arizona are class 1 misdemeanors, which have a waiting period of three years.

How to Get Your DUI Record Expunged in Tucson

If you qualify for DUI record expungement in Arizona, begin the legal process by consulting with a Tucson DUI defense lawyer. A lawyer can help you with the steps, paperwork and filing processes that are required to have a DUI expunged. The basic steps are:

  1. Complete the terms of your sentence, the waiting period and other eligibility requirements for DUI expungement.
  2. Correctly fill out and submit the petition for criminal record expungement with the court where you were convicted of the offense.
  3. Wait for the court’s decision and file a follow-up petition, if necessary, if your first petition is denied. The courts have 30 days to respond.

 A lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes during the expungement process to increase your odds of success with your petition the first time around. A lawyer can also help you move forward in other ways after a DUI conviction, such as restoring your driving privileges and obtaining a certificate of second chance to allow you to qualify for professional certifications. For more information about seeking DUI expungement, call the Rosenstein Law Group for a free consultation at (480) 745-1671.

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