Expunging your Arizona DUI is the first step to a better future. We can help.
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Getting arrested and convicted for a driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona is a costly mistake, but it does not have to stay on your record for life. There is a process, often called expungement, which can help you move on with your life without so much embarrassment and cost. To see if your Arizona DUI is eligible for expungement, take our free DUI expungement eligibility test.
The first thing a person needs to know about getting a DUI in Arizona is that a DUI conviction results in two distinct records.
The first record is with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). This record is what is used by insurance companies when determining rates for insurance. The MVD record is also used to compile a score that could result in the loss of a drivers license. According to the MVD’s web site , DUI, which counts for 8 points, will stay on a person’s record for 5 years and then automatically drops off.
The second record is a criminal justice record, which is held and reported at multiple places, including the court and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). It should also be noted that the DPS shares the information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This record, which is made available to the public, stays on a person’s record for life. Naturally, this can have devastating consequences. Employers can discriminate on the basis of a DUI conviction. Not to mention the embarrassment that can come with a DUI record that can be accessed by anyone with a smart phone or computer.
While it is not possible to expunge the DUI record at the MVD, it is possible to expunge the DUI record at the court, which will lead to the DUI record being expunged at the Arizona DPS and the FBI. Arizona calls the expungement process “setting aside”. The law that allows it is Arizona Revised Statute 13-907.
Under ARS 13-907, a person can return to court after they complete their sentence and ask the court to set-aside the finding of guilt and to dismiss the case, which thereby releases the person from “all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction.” The conviction is expunged (removed) from the record and the case becomes a dismissed case.
After a DUI expungement in Arizona, the DUI should not appear on criminal background checks because it is a dismissed case. Most background check companies that are used by employers do not report cases that are dismissed because of state and federal regulations. Law such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) apply to background check companies that provide information for purposes of employment or tenant screening. The FCRA makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of a dismissed case.
Find out what type of expungement or record clearing you qualify for by taking our free DUI expungement eligibility test.
Melissa Clark is an attorney licensed in Arizona, California, Florida and Utah who has won more than 1,000 expungement-related cases, including several successful appeals. She was co-counsel on the published case of People v. McLernon, which helped define California's expungement law (caselaw.findlaw.com.
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