Currently, marijuana-related offenses are the only type of records that are eligible for expungement in Arizona. Expungement is considered the highest level of record clearance because the record is removed from public access in the court system, does not appear on background checks, and comes off your criminal history. Only certain law enforcement agencies or a court order will allow access to an expunged record.
Once a record is expunged, you no longer have to disclose you have a record, which can open opportunities for better employment, , housing, education, and travel. It also helps you move forward from the stigma of having a record. In addition, the expunged record may not be used in subsequent prosecution. (See https://www.azcourts.gov/portals/34/images/SealingExpungingInfo.pdf)
Expungement is different from a set-aside because an expungement does not appear on a background check. A set-aside will still appear on a background check, with an annotation stating the conviction has been set aside and the charges dismissed.
Eligibility for expungement is governed by ARS 13-911, and currently applies to the following types of records:
How Do I Know If My Marijuana Record Is Eligible for Expungement?
The easiest way to find what is on your record, and whether it is eligible for record clearance, is to use Rasa’s eligibility tool. Rasa’s eligibility tool takes less than 3 minutes to use. It uses advanced technology to scan criminal records in Arizona court databases to identify what is on your record. It then processes the information and compares records to Arizona law, to determine what legal options are available to you.
Does Arizona Have a Clean Slate Law?
Arizona does not have a clean slate law, meaning expungement is not automatic in Arizona, and requires the record-holder to petition the court for an expungement order. Petition-based expungement can be time-consuming and complicated. Rasa highly recommends working with an experienced attorney to help with marijuana expungement in Arizona.
Can I Get Free Marijuana Expungement in Arizona?
Depending on the details of your case, and the amount of marijuana at issue, there are several resources available to make marijuana expungement free or affordable in Arizona. As a result of the legalization of marijuana, a certain portion of tax revenue now goes toward a grant to help people with expungement. Through that program, a person can access free legal representation through the Arizona Justice Project.
For more information about the Arizona Justice Project, check out this link.
Can I Vote After Record Expungement in Arizona?
A person can vote after their record is expunged, but voter registration is not automatic with record expungement. A person will need to register online at https://servicearizona.com or in-person at a County Recorder’s Office.