Until recently, driving under the influence (DUI) convictions could not be expunged, or effectively erased, from an individual’s criminal record in Arizona. As of 2023, however, Arizona law allows certain qualifying individuals to have their DUI records expunged. Find out if you qualify to have your DUI record sealed from public view by consulting with an attorney about your individual circumstances.
What Is DUI Expungement? How Does it Compare to Having a Record Set Aside?
Record expungement is a legal process that allows an individual with a criminal conviction to have his or her criminal record destroyed or sealed from public view. This includes all arrest records, court records and documents related to the criminal case. DUI expungement can give an individual a clean slate, allowing him or her to revert a criminal record to as if the conviction had never happened.
Expungement allows an individual to legally state that he or she has not been convicted of a DUI when asked about criminal history on a job, housing or professional certification application. Having a record “set aside” in Arizona, on the other hand, does not erase the record. Instead, the record will appear as “dismissed” when viewed as part of public record. While this can still help an individual move forward, the record of the DUI will still be visible.
Who Is Eligible for DUI Expungement in Arizona?
Arizona’s first expungement law came into effect on January 1, 2023. The enactment of Arizona Revised Statute Section 13.911 made it possible for individuals to file petitions to seal all case records related to a criminal offense. If successful, the record would be expunged – essentially, erased from the person’s criminal record.
Under this law, the following individuals can qualify for criminal record expungement:
- Those who have completed all the terms and conditions of the sentence that followed a criminal conviction.
- Those who have completed the mandatory waiting period after their conviction, which can range from 2 to 10 years.
- Those who were charged with a criminal offense but whose cases were subsequently dismissed or resulted in not-guilty verdicts at trial.
- Those who were arrested for a criminal offense but no charges were filed.
Most DUI convictions are eligible for expungement in Arizona. Convictions that cannot be expunged include crimes against children, offenses involving the use of a deadly weapon and homicide crimes. All criminal records that are expunged under this law can still be alleged as an element of an offense, used as proof of a prior felony conviction or used to enhance the sentence for a subsequent felony.
How to Get Your DUI Expunged in Arizona
To get started with DUI record expungement, consult with a Surprise DUI defense lawyer at the Law Offices of John Phebus. We will review your case to determine your eligibility. If you qualify for record expungement under Arizona’s law, we can help you with the required legal processes to have your record sealed. Your attorney can fill out the petition to request a DUI record expungement on your behalf. If your first petition gets denied, your lawyer can find out why and file a follow-up petition.
To further explore the possibility of DUI record expungement in Arizona, contact us to schedule a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable attorney.