Can I seal my record in Arizona? Hopefully soon.

Sealing your criminal record may become a reality soon in the state of Arizona. Currently the best you can do is have your criminal conviction set aside. This is most certainly a great opportunity for anyone whose past still haunts them. A conviction set aside will open many doors that were previously closed, but it is still technically possible for your conviction to be uncovered. It is also possible that could all change.

Right now the set aside statute (ARS 13-907) does not allow for judicial sealing. However there is a bill that is pending in the Arizona House of Representatives that would add a subsection “E” to the set aside statute specifically allowing for a person’s criminal record to be sealed. This would, among other things, prohibit Arizona (or an agency within the state) from revealing a person’s criminal record on any public website or in response to any public records request. Such privacy has not been possible under Arizona Law in decades.

Many states have similar provisions in their laws. This makes it likely that this bill could pass, really changing the environment for those with criminal convictions that still haunt them. Additionally the country is recognizing more and more the reality that a criminal conviction can bring: lost jobs, lost opportunities, and an inability to move up in a society after one has already completed their sentence. The country realizes this is unfair. I urge you to call your legislators and tell them to support this bill! Simply click here and find out who your state representatives and state senators are. Then tell them you support HB 2057. If you feel comfortable you can tell them why it means so much to you. Then, keep your fingers crossed, and hope.

Author: Bretton Barber

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