Can a Drug Charge in Arizona Be Expunged?

Can a Drug Charge in Arizona Be Expunged?

Posted By Salvador Law Group || Jan 18, 2019

We all have done something in our lives that we shouldn't have done. This doesn't mean that a person can't change or that they shouldn't be given a second chance. Many states offer a second chance in the form of an expungement, which removes criminal charges (including Arizona drug charges) from one's record after meeting certain conditions and getting it approved by the courts.

In Arizona, it's not referred to as expungement. It's referred to as "setting aside the judgment." When this is done with Arizona drug charges, a basic background check won't have the crime on it. Whereas with a comprehensive report it will show that the judgment has been set aside in the State of Arizona. Either way, you'll still be able to truly say that you haven't been convicted of the crime that was set aside.

Eligible Charges to Be “Set Aside”

There are certain convictions that the State of Arizona won't let be set aside, which have been listed below. However, if your crime isn't one that's covered, you can apply to have your conviction set aside so long as you have already completed the sentence.

  • A crime that involves serious physical harm.

  • A crime that involves displaying or using a dangerous weapon.

  • A crime that was done with sexual motivation.

  • A crime that includes anyone under the age of 15 years old.

  • A driving offense occurring while the defendant had a suspended/revoked license.


If you don't see the crime you were charged with listed above, you may be able to get it set aside so that the conviction doesn't show on your record. Just continue reading this mini-guide to expungement in Arizona and whether you need an Arizona criminal defense attorney, so you can get educated about the process and what needs to be done.

Process of Setting Aside a Charge

Many people try to overcomplicate this process, but usually only because they don't fully understand it themselves. There're only 3 steps to it which has been listed for you below. Now you'll know exactly what needs to be done.

The Waiting Game – In order for the court to consider setting aside your conviction in Arizona, you must have a clean record for 2 years since the conviction. They consider your risk for being a repeat offender and add it into the overall decision. Having additional charges afterward will decrease the chance of the judgment being in your favor.
Complete the Requirements – This includes time served, paying off fines, and completing parole/probation. You must show that you're about handling your responsibilities.

Move It Forward – If you have come this far, it's time to apply for Arizona's version of expungement. You will have to handle this through the court that handled your conviction as other courts won't have the needed jurisdiction.

If you're ready to get your conviction set aside, it's time to see whether you'd be better with or without legal representation. After all, you want to make sure you cover all your bases.

When You Need an Attorney

It's not a requirement to have legal counsel in order to get your case set aside, but this doesn't mean it wouldn't be beneficial. In fact, if things aren't done correctly you could find yourself being denied of having it set aside. This is why it's best to have an Arizona criminal defense attorney at least guide you through the process.


Contact Salvador Law Group at (602) 842-6222 to discuss your charge today.

Categories: Criminal Defense
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