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How to Get Your Criminal History Report in Arizona

Find out how to get a record of your criminal history report in Arizona. Make sure you check your record before allowing a criminal background check to be performed on you.

obtaining a copy of your criminal records in California

A person who has a prior conviction in the state of Arizona may have a need to obtain a copy of his or her criminal record. In fact, a person who was charged with a crime, but never ultimately convicted, may need to obtain a criminal record as well from the state of Arizona.

A common reason why a person may be interested in obtaining an Arizona criminal record, officially known in the state as a "criminal history record," is because that individual is posed to begin looking for a job. In this day and age, a considerable number of companies and businesses of all types perform thorough background checks before hiring. As part of these background checks, a business typically obtains criminal history information, as permitted by Arizona law.

Obtaining a Criminal History Record in Arizona

The state of Arizona maintains what is called the Central State Repository. The Central State Repository maintains a wide range of different types of records, including criminal history records in the aptly named Criminal History Records Section.

In order to obtain a criminal history record from the Criminal History Records Section, a person needs to complete the forms contained in the Record Review Packet. The Record Review Packet can be downloaded at the website maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The packet comes complete with associated instructions directing a person on how the forms must be completed.


In addition to completing the Record Review Packet, an individual must provide a set of his or her fingerprints. The fingerprints are required to confirm that an individual really is requesting his or her own criminal history record. Under Arizona law, only the person who is the subject of the record and certain governmental agencies, including courts and law enforcement agencies, can obtain this information.

No Fees Required to Obtain a Criminal History Report

Most states do requirement the payment of a fee to obtain a criminal history. Luckily, the state of Arizona does not charge a person a fee to obtain his or her own criminal history record from the Criminal History Records Section of the Central State Repository.

By requesting a criminal history record from the Criminal History Records Section, a person theoretically is able to obtain information about arrests and prosecutions in any state or municipal court in the state of Arizona. Other alternatives are available to a person who desires to obtain a copy of his or her criminal history record.

Alternate Sources for an Arizona Criminal History Record

A person interested in obtaining a criminal history record can access other resources for this data as well. Local courts and law enforcement agencies in the state do maintain criminal history records.

A person seeking a criminal history record from a local recourse needs to keep a couple of important factors in mind. For example, the most comprehensive report is likely to be available at the Central State Repository because of its statutory duty to maintain complete data for a truly extended period of time. In addition, unlike the Central State Repository, a person seeking a criminal history record from a local depository (a court or law enforcement agency) is likely to be charged a fee for that information.

On the other hand, if a person has a very limited criminal history -- perhaps only one case in one Arizona jurisdiction -- obtaining a criminal history record in that local jurisdiction may be more convenient and may make the most sense.

The Length of Time a Criminal History Record is Maintained

Arizona has a very straightforward law regarding how long a criminal history record is maintained. Arizona law requires that a criminal history record be maintained until the subject of the record reaches the age of 99 or until one year after that person dies. There are no shorter periods for misdemeanors or less serious felonies. Once data is put into a criminal history record, it must be maintained ta the Central State Repository for this period of time.

Clearing a Criminal Record

You may be able to clear your criminal record depending on the types of charges that you have. You may be able to set aside (expunge) your record if it resulted in a conviction or seal your record if it only resulted in an arrest.

If you would like to find out if your case is eligible to be expunged or sealed, the quickest and easiest way is to take this free online eligibility test or call (877) 573-7273 for a free assessment. You can learn more about Arizona expungements, set asides and record sealing here.

Disputing Inaccurate Information on an Arizona Criminal History Record

The state of Arizona maintains a somewhat streamlined system for disputing erroneous information contained in a criminal history record. Because people more often than not request a record to make certain it is accurate, a Review and Challenge of Arizona Criminal History Record Information is included with a criminal history record.

A person needs to complete the challenge form and mail it to the Criminal History Records Section at the Central State Repository. In most cases, the person disputing the record hears back from the Central State Repository within about 15 days.

If the Central State Repository agrees that an error exist on the criminal history record, the record will be updated. In addition, the Criminal History Records Section at the Central State Repository notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation is notified of the error and record update. This is done to ensure that records maintained by the FBI are accurate and in sync with those on the Arizona state level.

The error on a criminal history record might stem from inaccurate information maintained by a particular court or arresting agency in the state. In some cases when the error is of this nature, the Criminal History Records Section may not readily be able to amend the record. In such a situation, a person needs to be proactive and seriously consider engaging the services of an attorney with experience in dealing with this type of issue. Oftentimes, this is a lawyer with a background in dealing with expungement related matters. A lawyer usually will schedule a no-obligation, no-cost initial consultation to review the problem or error associated with the criminal history record.

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