When you are arrested or convicted of drunk driving, resulting criminal charges can heavily affect your daily life. You may lose your job, struggle to find a new position, get expelled from college and even suffer credit problems. Your insurance is likely to cost more. Also, if you are in politics or hold other positions scrutinized by the public, you will likely experience trouble gaining those roles in the future – if you are eligible to hold office, at all.
In Arizona, if you have been convicted of DUI you may be eligible for a Set Aside (ARS 13-907). To find out if your case is eligible for a Set Aside, call DM Cantor.
What a Set Aside / Expungement can do for DUI Convictions
Depending upon the circumstances of each individual’s case, it is often possible to have a DUI, drug-related or other conviction set aside by a lawyer for Set Aside. First, you must complete all of the conditions of your sentence and associated probation. If you have achieved this and have otherwise cooperated as you should, the court may agree to have your DUI or criminal records Set Aside.
What a Set Aside (or also known as an Expungement) will not do is to completely erase all signs of the circumstances that led to charges. If you seek a job and the employer requires a criminal background check, your case will appear, however, it will reflect that the conviction was set aside. This will look more favorably on you as a candidate. Law enforcement will keep a record.
People convicted of certain felonies can also obtain a Set Aside. This allows felons to again be allowed to vote, and own firearms.
If you were found not guilty in a trial for drunk driving, or the charges were dropped after the arrest, you can also request a Set Aside (see ARS 13-907). This is done through a petition to the MVD. The police cannot use past arrest information against you after it is Set Aside, even if you are arrested again.
What is Needed to Gain a Set Aside
Gaining a Set Aside relies upon specific circumstances of your DUI case and your criminal history. There are additional factors that are considered, as well. For a Set Aside ruling, the judge makes his or her decision based upon a number of variables. A ruling is then issued for your case.
Some of the factors a judge considers include:
- If the circumstances of the case were deemed dangerous
- Age of victims, if there were any victims involved in your case
- Whether probation was assigned, how you completed that probation and when it was finalized
Whether your DUI or criminal conviction was a misdemeanor or felony will be weighed by the court during consideration. It is particularly important for felony convicts to gain the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney to be seriously considered.
If your criminal defense lawyer receives a denial to your Set Aside application, there are steps that can be taken to help you successfully gain the positive ruling. These may include addressing the judge’s specific concerns that prevented a request from being granted for your case.
Important Steps to Gaining a DUI Conviction Set Aside
Properly fulfilling the obligations of your DUI sentence is the most important aspect of a Set Aside process. These obligations are all of those the court specified in its judgment of your case.
DUI Set Aside ruling may mean you have:
- Paid all of the court mandated fines and fees
- Completed all of your probation time without any problems
- Completed all of your jail or prison sentence
- Attended classes or completed other tasks mandated by the court
To make filing a Motion to Set Aside judgement easier, it is important to keep thorough records of everything you have completed that has been required by the court as part of your conviction. Judges want to see that your record has remained clean since your DUI conviction.
Beyond these two needs, there is also an Arizona Superior Court document you will need to complete to have a request submitted. Your defense lawyer you work with will provide this document. He or she will also ensure that it is properly and accurately completed for the greatest chance of your Set Aside being granted.
If you have completed all of the conditions of your Arizona sentencing and probation, you may be eligible for a DUI conviction Set Aside. Call DM Cantor now at 602.307.0808.