Q&A: Expungement


Now that I have my AZ felony set aside, how do I answer the felony conviction question on job applications?  Ex. Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Have you ever plead guilty or “no contest” to, or been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in the last five years? Have you been convicted of any crimes in the past seven years? Do you have any felonies? 
I have not seen “prior conviction” wording on any job apps as referenced in this URL www.azlawhelp.org/articles_info.cfm?sc=6…. I would also like clarification on what this means now for me– Do I still have a felony conviction? As this was my only criminal conviction, is my criminal record “clean” by today’s background check standards? Still confused if I need to mention my felony when a background check is mentioned during interviews or how the set aside impacts me overall. Help.
A set aside merely sets aside the conviction. It does not expunge it from your record. Therefore, employers will still see that you were once convicted, and that it was set aside. 

In the State of Arizona, there is no way to completely expunge a conviction. The only eligible cases for a full expungement are arrests that did not result in a conviction.  You can have your conviction set aside in Arizona under ARS 13-907.  The federal definition of expungement completely seals and destroys the record.  However, in Arizona, a set aside withdraws the plea of guilt and enters a not guilty plea and the court records are still available. 

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