Arizona

New Criminal Record Sealing Law to Take Effect in Arizona

Individuals living in Arizona with criminal backgrounds may soon have their records sealed. A new law will take effect on January 1, 2023, providing people with criminal records more opportunities. This new law will be the third time Arizona has given these individuals a second chance.

In 2020, the voters in Arizona approved Proposition 207. This proposition, also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, legalized recreational marijuana use. It also allowed the expungement of some minor marijuana-related offenses.

The Arizona legislature passed a similar law in 2021 called Set Aside. This law permitted individuals to set aside some convictions. It also allowed them to receive a second chance certificate for occupational licensing purposes, employment, and housing.

The latest law allows residents to petition the court about sealing their criminal records from public view. However, applicants must first complete all the terms and conditions of their sentence imposed by the court.

Furthermore, this law does not cover all offenses. For example, it will not include class one felonies and records of violent crimes and sexual offenses. As such, an individual who committed a sexual offense involving or exhibiting a deadly weapon will not qualify.

The law does not limit the applicant’s number of convictions, allowing you to make several requests for sealing these records. However, you must first ensure you qualify for the relief when looking to seal your records. Should you prove eligible, you must then wait the required waiting period. The waiting period is ten years for class two or three felonies. Meanwhile, class four, five, and six felonies have waiting periods of five years. Finally, class one misdemeanors have three years, while class two and three must wait for one.

Despite this support, others wonder how it will affect employers and their employees. Furthermore, some companies keep private records, including information on a person’s criminal history. Along with these companies comes the Internet. For example, some websites collect this information on everyone with a criminal background. As a result, your criminal history may have already become publicly available online. Regardless, this law could improve your opportunities if you have a criminal record.

You should consider running a self-background check after the courts expunge your record. Taking the time to check your report will show whether they properly removed the minor marijuana-related offenses from your information.

Background checks don’t have to be complicated. Try running a Self Background Check today and give yourself a head start.

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