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Do You Know How to Have Charges Expunged?

You may have read about someone having their charges expunged. In this entry, we’ll talk about what that actually means.

Defining expungement

Arizona law looks at expungement as “setting aside a judgment.” Having records set aside is akin to the offense or charge never having taking place, even if you did time for it.

Even though the court records will not be destroyed, the setting aside classification changes the decision text from “guilty” or “convicted” to “finding of guilt set aside” or “case dismissed.”

Why should I try to have my charges expunged?

There are a host of reasons why you’d want to have your charges expunged.

For example, since most background checks only track convictions, those that have been expunged won’t be revealed in the search. Expunged charges also make it possible for you to vote and other things convicted felons aren’t able to do

Can any charges be expunged?

No, there are a few exceptions, Among the things that will prevent charges from being expunged are:

  • The showing or use of a deadly weapon
  • Motivation by sexual desires
  • Infliction of serious physical injuries
  • A victim younger than 15
  • A defendant’s driver license being revoked or suspended

How do I get charges expunged?

It typically takes three (3) months for charges to be expunged in most Arizona counties.

To have your charges expunged, you must:

  • Complete all terms of your original sentence – including all aspects of probation and any court-ordered anger management course, alcohol or substance abuse program, etc.
  • File a petition with the county in which you were convicted (a judge in that country will later determine whether or not to grant your petition)

If you’re facing criminal charges, call Alex Lane for an aggressive defense of your rights

Sure, criminal charges are serious business but they shouldn’t ruin the rest of your life. The key is to learn from your mistakes and move on.

If you’ve been charged, make the smart move and partner with a skilled attorney who will put you in position for the best possible outcome.

For a free consultation, call Alex Lane at 480-776-5757.


If you have been charged with a DUI, drug charge, sex crime or any serious criminal offense, let an experienced defense team fight for you. Schedule a consultation with one of our partners today. Call (480) 562-3482 or send an email.