This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Arizona Record Sealing service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.
Simply click on a question to see its answer:
As long as the case meets the eligibility requirements, the court “shall grant the petition if the court determines that granting the petition is in the best interests of the petitioner and the public's safety.” (ARS 13-911(D))
We will prepare an affidavit for you outlining your deservingness and why it is in your interests to have the record sealed and not contrary to public safety. You’re also encouraged to provide documentation supporting your good character. Supporting documentation includes but is not limited to certificates, diplomas, proof of employment, letters of support, etc.
Determining individual chances of success is difficult to say. Each client, case, prosecuting attorney, and judge are different. Typically, the older the case and more time law abiding, the better the chances of success. The severity of the charges are also commonly considered.
For a small researching fee, we can pull your criminal record for you and determine if you are eligible for record clearing relief in Arizona.
Yes. Both types of reliefs can be available for eligible cases.
Since this is a new relief for 2023, it’s unknown how long the process will take. There will also likely be a flood of applicants when the new law begins, likely slowing the court and DA’s processes down. The amount of time that has passed since the incident, availability of records, whether the DA objects, and the details of your case can also all affect the length of the process.
The court works on cases on a first-come, first-served basis. We will work as quickly as possible, and we can write a letter to your employer or potential employer to inform them that we are in the process of having your record sealed.
In most cases, even if a hearing is scheduled, you will not have to attend, because we will have an attorney there for you. If the court specifically requests you do appear, we will file a motion with the court to request your presence be excused.
The court will issue an order sealing all records relating to the petitioner's arrest, conviction and sentence and directing the court clerk to notify the department of public safety and the prosecutor of the sealing order. The Department of Public Safety will then inform all appropriate state and federal agencies of the record sealing. (ARS 13-911(I)(3))
Record sealing cases can be denied because: (1) the court does not believe record sealing is in the interests of public safety (2) there was an inaccuracy in the court file, or (3) there was an inaccuracy in the application.
If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If the court denies a petition to seal case records, a person may not file a new petition until three years after the date of the denial. (ARS 13-911(L))
For our record sealing service in Arizona, we are unable to offer a money-back guarantee and such a low price for this service, because the process involves a substantial amount of preparation and work and sometimes several appearances in court by our attorneys. Also, the decision whether to grant the relief is ultimately up to the judge, which can be hard to predict.
Yes, unless the record is sealed. Many people are under the mistaken belief that criminal records automatically come off a record after a period of time. However, records remain public record unless they receive record clearing relief.
Can a case that has been sealed be used against me for a future conviction? Yes. All case records that are sealed can still be: alleged as an element of an offense, used as a historical prior felony conviction, enhance the sentence for a subsequent offense, or used as if the conviction was not sealed for admissibility in later court proceedings. (ARS 13-911(B))
A person whose records are sealed may state that they have never been arrested, charged, or convicted, including in response to questions on employment, housing, financial aid or loan applications with these limited exceptions: (a) The person is submitting an application that requires an Arizona fingerprint clearance card (b) The sealed case records involved a violation of a Drug Offense under chapter 34 of the Arizona Criminal Code. (c) The sealed case records involved burglary or theft from a residential or nonresidential structure and the person is applying for a job that requires entering into and performing services inside of a residential structure. (d) The sealed case records involved child abuse or aggravated assault and the person is applying for a job involving supervising, educating or administering care to a minor. (e) The sealed case records involved vulnerable adult abuse and the person is applying for a job involving supervising or administering care to a vulnerable adult or a person who is at least sixty-five years of age. (f) The sealed case records involved a violation of section 5-395.01 (Operating Watercraft Under the Influence), 5-396 (Aggravated Operating Watercraft Under the Influence), 5-397 (Extreme Operating Watercraft Under the Influence), 13-1814 (Auto Theft), 28-1381 (Driving While Under the Influence), 28-1382 (Extreme DWI), 28-1383 (Aggravated DWI), 28-8282, 28-8284 (DUI), 28-8286 (Alternative Sentence DUI), 28-8287 (2nd Offense DUI) or 28-8288 (3rd or Subsequent DUI) and the person is applying for a job involving the commercial or private operation of a motor vehicle, boat or airplane. (g) The sealed case records involved theft, theft of means of transportation, forgery, taking the identity of another or fraudulent schemes and artifices and the person is applying for a job involving accounting, overseeing, transporting, handling or managing another person's money or financial assets. (h) The person is applying for a position with a law enforcement agency, a prosecutor's office, a court, a probation department, a child welfare agency, the department of child safety, the department of juvenile corrections or the state department of corrections. (i) The person is undergoing a background check for the placement with that person of a child who is in the custody of the department of child safety. (j) The disclosure is required by a state or federal law. (k) The disclosure is required to comply with program integrity provisions of medicare, medicaid or any other federal health care program. (ARS 13-911(I)(5))
No. Crimes against children and felony sex offense convictions are not eligible for record sealing. (ARS 13-911(O)(2)&(6))
Maybe. The records are merely sealed and unfortunately still accessible to law enforcement and federal authorities for limited purposes. Each case is unique, and to find out if your criminal case may impact your immigration case, it is important to contact a qualified immigration attorney. You may contact our in-house immigration attorney at 714-617-8395.
The arrest and/or court case should not show up on public private company background checks. However, government background checks may still reveal the record in limited circumstances.
In order to have your granted order reflected on private background checks as soon as possible, we recommend you have your record updated with our Expedited Record Clearance Update (https://www.recordgone.com/expedited-record-clearance-update.htm) service.
After the judge grants the request, the court will seal their records. The court clerk will notify the Arizona of Department of Public Safety (AZ DPS) and prosecutor. The AZ DPS will seal their records and inform all appropriate state and federal law enforcement agencies of the sealing. Typically, we expect the court to seal their records with a few business days to a week. The AZ DPS may take up to 30 days to seal their records and notify the appropriate parties. These timeframes are estimates and can vary depending on the age of the records and number of agencies involved.