Unlocking Opportunities: Arizona's Record Sealing Law Explained

The Importance of Record Sealing Law in Arizona

Record sealing is a legal process that allows eligible individuals to have their criminal records removed from public access, which could include individuals who have been wrongly accused or convicted. In Arizona, the state legislature has made recent changes to the record sealing law, which has made it easier for individuals to clear their criminal records.

Despite the increasing efforts to provide second chances to those with criminal records, many individuals still face numerous barriers even when they have served their time and paid their debt to society. These barriers could include employment discrimination, housing challenges, and difficulties with securing loans among other challenges.

Thanks to the new legislation, individuals who previously had no chance of sealing their records now have a chance at a better future. This article will explain how the new law works, who it applies to, and the benefits that can come with it.

The Eligibility Requirements for Record Sealing in Arizona

One of the most important aspects of Arizona's record sealing law is understanding who is eligible to have their criminal records sealed. The eligibility requirements differ depending on the type of crime an individual was convicted of, their age at the time of the crime, and the length of time since the completion of their sentence.

For individuals who were convicted of a non-dangerous felony, they may be eligible for record sealing after two years since the end of their sentence. Those convicted of misdemeanor offenses must wait one year. Individuals who were convicted of dangerous offenses or offenses against minors are generally not eligible for record sealing, with a few exceptions.

In addition to the waiting periods, individuals must also complete all terms of their sentence and have no pending charges or warrants. It is important to note that even if an individual meets all of the eligibility requirements, record sealing is not an automatic right. The court has discretion to grant or deny a petition for record sealing based on a variety of factors.

The Benefits of Record Sealing in Arizona

Record sealing in Arizona comes with a number of benefits for eligible individuals. Perhaps the most significant benefit is that sealing one's criminal record can help with employment opportunities. A sealed record will not appear on most background checks and employers will not be able to use it as a basis to deny employment. This can help individuals with a criminal history secure better job opportunities and improve their overall financial outlook.

Other potential benefits of record sealing include the restoration of gun rights, the ability to vote, and the possibility of obtaining a professional license. Additionally, sealing one's record may provide greater peace of mind and help individuals move on from their past mistakes without fear of judgment or discrimination. Overall, Arizona's record sealing law provides an important opportunity for individuals who have turned their lives around to rebuild their futures and participate fully in society.

The Importance of Consulting an Attorney for Record Sealing in Arizona

While the changes to Arizona's record sealing law have made it easier for individuals to have their criminal records sealed, the process can still be complex and requires careful attention to detail. Filing for record sealing involves the completion of various legal forms, including the Petition to Set Aside Judgment, fingerprint cards, and other documentation.

Due to the intricacies of the process, it is highly recommended that individuals seek the advice of an experienced attorney to navigate the process of record sealing in Arizona. An attorney can offer legal counsel and representation, prepare and file necessary documents, and advocate on behalf of their clients during court hearings. Engaging an attorney can improve the chances of success in a record sealing petition and ensure that all paperwork is correctly filed.

Furthermore, attorneys can provide guidance on other legal issues that may arise after record sealing, such as the proper way to disclose sealed criminal records on job applications or professional licenses. An attorney can also review a client's eligibility and advise them on the best course of action to take. Finally, attorneys can provide peace of mind knowing that someone with legal expertise is handling the record sealing process.

The Role of Petitioners in Record Sealing in Arizona

Petitioners play a significant role in the record sealing process in Arizona. In addition to following eligibility requirements and completing necessary paperwork, petitioners must demonstrate to the court that they have made significant changes in their behavior and lifestyle that prove their commitment to rehabilitation. This may include employment, education, and community involvement or participation in counseling or treatment programs.

It is also important for petitioners to prepare a compelling argument that emphasizes why they deserve the opportunity to have their criminal records sealed. Petitioners must show that the benefits of record sealing, such as better employment opportunities, outweigh the need for public access to their records.

In summary, petitioners must present proof of their rehabilitation, along with a persuasive argument that demonstrates why record sealing is necessary for their future wellbeing. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, petitioners can improve their chances of success and ensure that they are taking the appropriate steps towards the sealing of their criminal records.

Final Notes

Record sealing in Arizona is an important legal remedy that provides eligible individuals with the opportunity to move past their criminal history and pursue a brighter future. To summarize, here are the main points to keep in mind regarding Arizona's record sealing law:

  1. Record sealing is a legal process that allows eligible individuals to have their criminal records removed from public access;
  2. Eligibility requirements include waiting periods, completion of sentence terms, and no pending charges or warrants;
  3. The benefits of record sealing include improved employment opportunities, possible restoration of gun rights or voting rights, and the ability to obtain professional licenses;
  4. In order to increase the chance of success during the record sealing process, it's highly recommended that individuals seek the help of an experienced attorney; and
  5. Petitioners play a significant role in the record sealing process in Arizona and should aim to present evidence of their rehabilitation and a persuasive argument for why record sealing is necessary for their future wellbeing.

By understanding the law, eligibility requirements, and the role of petitioners, eligible individuals can successfully navigate the record sealing process and take the necessary steps towards improving their futures. While record sealing can provide a fresh start, it's important to remember that it is not a guaranteed right, and the court will ultimately make the final decision.


  1. Arizona Legislature. (2021). ARS 13-907. Petition to set aside judgment; eligibility; order; fingerprinting; notice; hearing; definition. Arizona Revised Statutes. Retrieved from https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/00907.htm
  2. Maricopa County Superior Court. (n.d.). Guide to Sealing Records in Maricopa County Superior Court. Retrieved from https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SR_Instruc-_Guide_Sealing-Records-Packet_0519.pdf
  3. Office of the Maricopa County Public Defender. (2021). Record Sealing and Restoration of Civil Rights. Retrieved from https://www.maricopadefender.org/record-sealing-and-restoration-of-civil-rights/
  4. Shah Law Firm PLLC, Phoenix AZ. (n.d.). Record Sealing. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/maps/5y5RofmgxRr2zQPSA

Additional References: Arizona Record Sealing Law