Arizona Revised Statute 13-4051 allows a defendant to seal the records of a wrongful arrest that did not lead to a conviction. To be eligible for a record sealing, the person must have been wrongfully arrested, charged or indicted and not have been convicted of the offense. If the sealing is granted, the judge will enter onto the record that the defendant has been cleared of the charges. The court order will also prohibit all law enforcement agencies and courts from releasing copies or providing access to the records without a court order. The arrest is deemed as though it never occurred. ARS 13-4051 also makes liable for damages anyone who has notice of the record sealing and fails to comply with the court order.
§ 13-4051. Entry on records; stipulation; court order
A. Any person who is wrongfully arrested, indicted or otherwise charged for any crime may petition the superior court for entry on all court records, police records and any other records of any other agency relating to such arrest or indictment a notation that the person has been cleared.
B. After a hearing on the petition, if the judge believes that justice will be served by such entry, the judge shall issue the order requiring the entry that the person has been cleared on such records, with accompanying justification therefor, and shall cause a copy of such order to be delivered to all law enforcement agencies and courts. The order shall further require that all law enforcement agencies and courts shall not release copies of or provide access to such records to any person except on order of the court.
C. Any person who has notice of such order and fails to comply with the court order issued pursuant to this section shall be liable to the person for damages from such failure.
Eff. Oct. 1, 1978. Amended by Laws 2012, Ch. 44, § 2.