Expungement, Sealing & Set Aside of Arrest and Conviction Records In Arizona



Sealing of Arrest, Conviction and Sentencing Records In Arizona, What You Need To Know:

On January 1st, 2023, A.R.S. § 13-911, “Sealing of arrest, conviction and sentencing records” goes into effect. The very first of its kind in Arizona and revolutionary as before now the only available remedy was to have the criminal conviction “set aside.”

Does Arizona expunge criminal records? As of 2022 there were 44 states in the USA that “expunged” or “sealed” criminal records. Up until recently, Arizona was not one of those states. On January 1st, 2023, Arizona will begin accepting petitions to seal some criminal records, but not all.

With the passing of A.R.S. § 13-911, you will be able to seal certain former criminal arrest(s) records, criminal conviction(s) and sentencing records, both felonies and misdemeanors. Doing so can open up new opportunities and severely minimize the negative ramifications associated with having a former conviction or convictions.

Set Aside Vs. Sealing

A “set aside” is when the judge who sentenced you, upon proper application, the judge may “set aside” convictions. A “set aside” merely sets forth the record that you were once convicted of a crime and that the judgment of guilt is “set aside”, it does not remove nor expunge nor seal any record(s) of the criminal arrest, criminal conviction, or sentencing records.

“Sealing” on the other hand is the sealing of a conviction from the Arizona Department of Public Safety record(s) who upon granting of the petition shall inform all appropriate state and federal law enforcement agencies of the sealing, with some exceptions noted in A.R.S. § 13-911. Resulting thereby in most instances the sealing of arrest records, criminal convictions and sentencing records from your record. Again, some very important exceptions apply however so contact Attorney William L. Morris immediately for more details.

There have always been set-asides, but never the sealing of records until A.R.S. § 13-911! Finally!

Record Expungement Vs. Sealing

“An expungement proceeding is a type of lawsuit in which a first time offender of a prior criminal conviction seeks that the records of that earlier process be sealed or destroyed, making the records nonexistent or unavailable to the general public.” – wikipedia.org – Record Expungement

“Record sealing is the practice of sealing or, in some cases, destroying court records that would otherwise be publicly accessible as public records. The term is derived from the tradition of placing a seal on specified files or documents that prevents anyone from reviewing the files without receiving a court order.” – wikipedia.org – Record Sealing

Arizona Sealing of Criminal Records Bill

With the passing of A.R.S. § 13-911, Arizona’s sealing law is undergoing an important shift.

Rather than being confined to merely a “set aside,” you can now seal certain arrest records, criminal convictions, and sentencing records from your record with a few exclusions as stated in the statute. By doing so, public individuals and organizations can no longer access any record of a past conviction. This makes it easier to:

  • Obtain Housing
  • Get Into College
  • Find Employment

There is one thing to be aware of: these criminal arrests, criminal convictions and sentencing records still exist. Not as a matter of public record however, but law enforcement and prosecutors, among a few, specifically noted others, can still access these criminal arrests, criminal convictions and sentencing records even if sealed. Contact Attorney William L. Morris immediately for more details.

Arizona Expungement, Sealing & Set Aside of Arrest and Conviction lawyer William Morris Attorney

How To Seal Criminal Records In Arizona

To seal criminal records beginning on January 1, 2023, you must fill out the proper petition, accurately provide any/all information required by A.R.S. § 13-911, and properly filing the petition with the proper court and jurisdiction. By filling out the proper and completed petition, you/your attorney can make a case for you to seal a criminal record and the importance such a removal from the public records will have and/or is having on your life as you try to move forward in a positive manner and put your past behind you.

Right before we go over the basic process of sealing criminal records in Arizona, there’s another question we must answer:

What Criminal Records are Eligible to be Sealed in Arizona?

Misdemeanors, as well as Felonies, can be expunged in Arizona as of January 1, 2023. Even though both types of criminal classifications can be sealed, the prerequisites of doing so differ.

How To Seal A Felony In Arizona:

A variety of crimes can be sealed in Arizona. But, can felony records be sealed in Arizona? The answer is “Yes.”

With the caveat that only certain felony criminal records can be sealed. Felonies that belong to the following specific categories cannot be sealed:

If you were:

Felonies That Can NOT Be Sealed or Expunged in AZ:

  • Convicted of Sex Trafficking pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1307
  • Convicted of any offense that has either of the following as an element of the offense:
    • The discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
    • The knowing Infliction Of Serious Physical Injury on another person.
  • Serious, Violent, Or Aggravated Felonies as defined in A.R.S. § 13-706
  • Convicted of Dangerous Crimes Against Children as defined in A.R.S. § 13-705
  • Sentenced as a Dangerous Offender pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-704
  • Class 2, 3, 4, or 5 felony offense that is included in Chapter 14 or 35.1 of A.R.S. Title 13

Class 1 felonies however cannot be sealed. Felonies below Class 2-6 can be sealed, but there is a waiting period, which is as follows:

  • Class 2 & 3 Felonies – 10-Year Waiting Period from the time you completed the conditions of probation or sentence and was discharged by the court.
  • Class 4, 5, & 6 Felonies – 5-Year Waiting Period from the time you completed the conditions of probation or sentence and were discharged by the court.

To seal felony criminal records, you must fill out the petition for sealing of records completely and accurately and be certain to file everything properly.

How To Seal A Misdemeanor In Arizona:

The process of sealing misdemeanor convictions in Arizona is not similar in the process as that of sealing a felony. Just like a felony, every class of misdemeanor comes with a waiting period. These waiting periods are as follows:

Class 1 Misdemeanor – 3-Year Waiting Period from the time you completed the conditions of probation or sentence and were discharged by the court.
Class 2 & 3 Misdemeanor – 2-Year Waiting Period from the time you completed the conditions of probation or sentence and were discharged by the court.

Immediately after this waiting period expires, you must successfully fill out and properly file the petition for the sealing of records pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-911.

How To Seal & Expunge A Marijuana Conviction in Arizona

For marijuana possession-related convictions and the expungement thereof see A.R.S. § 36-2862 Here

Arizona Sealing Forms and Petition:

Arizona’s new sealing of criminal records law, A.R.S. § 13-911, goes into effect on January 1st, 2023. But, you can fill out this petition now! Why wait to get the process started on sealing your long-forgotten past mistakes that continue to cause problems for you and your family? Contact Attorney William L. Morris today for a free telephonic consultation!

To learn more about A.R.S. § 13-911, you can read here.

Right before beginning the process, you might be asking:

“Are there any court fees associated with filing Petitions to Seal?”

– The cost of filing a petition for sealing records is free, but if your conviction came with fees, fines, or restitution, you must finish paying those to be eligible for expungement.


Criminal arrests, criminal convictions, and sentencing records can, and will, continue to negatively affect you and your family’s future. Contact Attorney William L. Morris to begin preparing and filing your petition to seal immediately so you and your family can have a chance at living a life that is in line with your aims, goals, and successful life accomplishments that are a more true and accurate depiction of your true character and that you have learned from your past mistakes.

Speak with a skilled Scottsdale criminal defense lawyer today. William will help you put together an effective petition and assist you in having your records sealed permanently.


Schedule Your Free Consultation Today.