When Can Juvenile Records Be Expunged or Sealed in Arizona?

ripped papers -Juvenile records in Arizona

When Can Juvenile Records Be Expunged or Sealed in Arizona?

Making mistakes is something that many young people do. If the mistakes are small enough, they disappear when we get older. But other mistakes can be permanent, especially ones that lead to a juvenile record. 

Having a criminal record—even a juvenile record—in the state of Arizona can make it hard to find jobs or housing when it comes up in background checks. Luckily, most juvenile records are eligible to be set aside, and can even be eligible for expungement (destruction). And if you made a few mistakes as a young adult, there is a set aside process for you, too!


Set Aside vs. Expungement of Juvenile Records in Arizona

There is a big difference between setting aside a judgment and getting it expunged. For starters, “set aside” in Arizona means that the conviction will appear as “set aside” on background checks. It also gives you back any civil rights you lost with your conviction, like the right to vote. 

Expungement is the destruction of the records entirely and is available only for juvenile records. Depending on the case, some records are not eligible for set aside or expungement. Most often, those are cases where the minor was charged as an adult


Who Qualifies for Expungement? 

According to the Arizona Penal Code, there are several qualifications required for the expungement of juvenile records. You must:

  • Be 18 years or older (25 in some cases)
  • No longer be part of the juvenile court, serving community service, or in a juvenile detention center
  • Have no pending criminal charges
  • Are not required to register as a sexual offender
  • Have paid all restitution in full 

There are several types of crimes that disqualify or change the age with which you can apply for an expungement. You may have to wait until you’re 25 to apply for expungement if your crime involved:

  • The infliction of serious injury
  • Sexual Offenses 
  • Misuse of a deadly weapon or dangerous item 
  • DUI
  • Driving with a suspended license


Clearing Your Record Can Open Up More Opportunities 

Having a criminal record can drastically affect your daily life. A juvenile record should not keep you from living your life, but people with criminal records often lose potential jobs or housing because of background checks. 

Getting denied on job and housing applications can lead to a cycle of missed opportunities and a higher chance of getting incarcerated again. Going through the process of getting juvenile records set aside or expunged can help your future by giving you back these opportunities.


Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona

No matter the crime, big or small, past or present, Todd Coolidge can help you navigate the Arizona courts. He and his associates have practiced criminal law in Arizona for over 25 years. Having an exceptional lawyer could help you avoid any future charges. We can also help you out if the process of applying for expungement gets sticky. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/7/22). Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash.