Set Asides

Set Asides in Arizona

Scottsdale Criminal Defense Lawyer – 602.832.7404

Many states use the term “expungement” when discussing how “erase” a criminal conviction or arrest from a person’s record. In Arizona, the term “set aside” is used instead, mainly due to the fact that in the digital age, it is impossible to completely eliminate and hide past convictions. The effect of a set aside is the same: it shows that a court has recognized your goodwill and intentions after a conviction or arrest and has more or less forgiven you for what once occurred.

The benefits of a successful set aside are many and varied. If you have been convicted and would like to put the past behind you, do not hesitate to call 602.832.7404 and talk to Law Office of Stephen L. Duncan, P.L.C. Our Scottsdale criminal defense attorney has more than 20 years of experience dealing with criminal law and defense.

Benefits of a Set Aside

In order to have a set aside petition approved by a court, you must finish all aspects of your sentencing. This includes serving all jail time, paying all fines or fees, completing any community service, and so forth. After all sentencing requirements are completed, you can request that the state set aside your conviction. It will only do so if you have made a clear effort to change your situation and stay out of legal trouble.

If your set aside is approved, you may enjoy various benefits, such as:

  • More likely to be hired for employment
  • More likely to be approved for renting property
  • More likely to receive loans or credit
  • General improvement to your peace of mind

It is worth noting that if your conviction is set aside, you must still disclose it to a potential employer when you are specifically asked about prior convictions. You cannot tell them that you have never been convicted, and refusing to answer could be grounds for the company not to hire you. You should make it clear that the conviction was set aside by the court due to your good behavior and overall life improvements.

Convictions That Cannot Be Set Aside

Your criminal record in Arizona will exist until you are 99 years of age. Setting convictions aside can “clean up your record” in a way but not all convictions are eligible for this legal process. If the state considers a criminal violation to be quite serious, harmful, or malicious, it will not consider it possible to set it aside.

A set aside will likely be denied if the related crime involved:

  • Intentional and serious harm dealt to another
  • Using a deadly weapon to intimidate another
  • Sex crimes that included sex offender registration as a penalty
  • “Sexual motivation” is deemed a reason behind the action
  • Any victim under the age of 15
  • Reckless or repeated driving offenses (multiple DUI convictions)

Successful Set Asides Require Legal Insight – Call Us Today

Much of the set aside process hinges on how a judge or hearing administrator decides. Whether or not you have improved your life and behaviors is open to a subjective opinion. You may certainly feel as if your life is back on track and the past is far behind you, but will the judge agree?

Improve your chances of success by using legal insight and experience when handling your set aside request. Our Scottsdale criminal defense attorney can provide decades of knowledge, including all he learned during his days spent as a prosecutor. We can also help you manage the technical issues of your set aside case, such as when and where to file.


Discuss the key details by contacting us and setting up your free consultation.


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