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Criminal AZ: The Most Common Crimes and Penalties in Arizona


Criminal AZ: What You Need to Know About Criminal Records in Arizona




If you have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime in Arizona, you may have a criminal record that can affect your life in many ways. Criminal records are documents that contain information about your involvement with the criminal justice system, such as your arrest history, court proceedings, and incarceration status. They can be accessed by various entities, such as employers, landlords, lenders, schools, and licensing boards, for various purposes, such as background checks, employment screening, housing applications, and professional licensing.




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Having a criminal record can limit your opportunities and rights in many areas of life. It can make it harder for you to find a job, rent an apartment, get a loan, enroll in school, or obtain a license. It can also affect your civil rights, such as your right to vote, serve on a jury, or own a firearm. Therefore, it is important to know what your criminal record contains, how to access it, and how to correct or clear it if possible.


In this article, we will explain what you need to know about criminal records in Arizona, including the types of criminal records available, how to access them, how to obtain a copy of your own record, and how to seal or expunge your record if you are eligible. We will also provide some useful resources and links for further information and assistance.


Types of criminal records in Arizona




Criminal records in Arizona are maintained by various agencies within the state's criminal justice system. The main types of criminal records are:


  • Arrest records: These are documents that contain information about your arrest by law enforcement officers, such as your name, date of birth, physical description, charges, booking number, mugshot, fingerprints, and bail amount. Arrest records are created by the arresting agency and submitted to the Central State Repository (CSR), which is the central database for criminal records in Arizona. Arrest records do not indicate whether you were convicted or not of the charges.



  • Court records: These are documents that contain information about your court proceedings related to your criminal charges, such as your case number, court dates, plea, verdict, sentence, fines, fees, probation terms, and restitution orders. Court records are created by the court where your case was heard and filed with the clerk of the court. Court records indicate whether you were convicted or not of the charges.



  • Correctional records: These are documents that contain information about your incarceration status and supervision history if you were sentenced to jail or prison time or placed on probation or parole. Correctional records include information such as your inmate number, location, release date, parole eligibility date, parole conditions, and violations. Correctional records are created by the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) or the county jail where you were incarcerated or supervised.



How to access criminal records in Arizona




Criminal records in Arizona are public records that can be accessed by anyone for any reason. However, some restrictions and limitations apply depending on the type of record and the purpose of the request. Here are some ways to access criminal records in Arizona:


  • Public Access Case Lookup: This is an online service provided by the Arizona Judicial Branch that allows you to search for court cases and view case information online. You can search by name, case number, or citation number. You can also view case documents if they are available electronically. However, some case types are excluded from this service, such as sealed cases, cases involving un-served orders of protection, mental health and probate cases, victim and witness data, and juvenile incorrigible and delinquency cases. You can access the Public Access Case Lookup service at [this link].



  • Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Criminal History Records: This is an online service provided by the DPS that allows you to request a copy of your own criminal history record or a criminal history record of another person for a non-criminal justice purpose, such as employment, licensing, or personal review. You need to submit a completed application form, a fingerprint card, and a fee of $22 per request. You can also request a criminal history record for a criminal justice purpose, such as law enforcement, prosecution, or defense, but you need to have a valid reason and authorization to do so. You can access the DPS Criminal History Records service at [this link].



  • Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) Inmate Datasearch: This is an online service provided by the ADC that allows you to search for inmates who are currently or have been in the custody of the ADC. You can search by name, ADC number, or case number. You can also view inmate information such as location, status, sentence, and disciplinary history. However, some information is confidential and not available to the public, such as medical records, mental health records, and victim information. You can access the ADC Inmate Datasearch service at [this link].



How to obtain a copy of your own criminal record in Arizona




If you want to obtain a copy of your own criminal record in Arizona, you have several options depending on the type of record and the purpose of your request. Here are some ways to obtain a copy of your own criminal record in Arizona:


  • Record review packet: This is a packet that contains a copy of your Arizona criminal history record and a fingerprint card. You can request a record review packet from the DPS for personal review or to challenge the accuracy or completeness of your record. You need to submit a completed application form and a fee of $25 per request. You will receive the packet by mail within 15 days of your request. You can then review your record and submit any disputes or corrections to the DPS along with supporting documents. You can access the record review packet application form at [this link].



  • Fingerprint clearance card: This is a card that indicates that you have passed a state and federal fingerprint-based background check and do not have any disqualifying criminal convictions. You may need a fingerprint clearance card for certain purposes, such as employment, licensing, or volunteering in certain fields or organizations. You can apply for a fingerprint clearance card from the DPS by submitting a completed application form, a fingerprint card, and a fee of $67 per request. You will receive the card by mail within 6 to 8 weeks of your request. You can access the fingerprint clearance card application form at [this link].



  • Clearance letter: This is a letter that certifies that you do not have any criminal convictions in Arizona based on your name and date of birth. You may need a clearance letter for certain purposes, such as immigration, adoption, or foreign travel. You can request a clearance letter from the DPS by submitting a completed application form and a fee of $10 per request. You will receive the letter by mail within 15 days of your request. You can access the clearance letter application form at [this link].



How to seal or expunge your criminal record in Arizona




If you have a criminal record in Arizona, you may want to seal or expunge it to prevent it from being accessed by the public or affecting your opportunities and rights. However, Arizona does not have a general process for sealing or expunging criminal records. Instead, it has specific processes for certain types of records and situations. Here are some ways to seal or expunge your criminal record in Arizona:


  • Set aside: This is a process that allows you to petition the court to set aside your conviction and release you from all penalties and disabilities resulting from it. However, this does not erase or seal your record; it only changes its status from convicted to set aside. Your record will still be visible to the public and may still be used against you in certain situations, such as immigration proceedings or subsequent offenses. To be eligible for set aside, you must have completed all terms and conditions of your sentence and not have any pending charges or convictions for certain offenses. To apply for set aside, you must file a petition with the court where you were convicted and pay any applicable fees. The court will then review your petition and decide whether to grant it or not based on various factors. Some of the factors that the court may consider are your age at the time of the offense, the nature and circumstances of the offense, your compliance with the sentence, your prior and subsequent criminal history, your character and reputation, and the interests of justice. You can access the set aside petition form at [this link].



Expungement: This is a process that allows you to petition the court to expunge your arrest record if you were arrested but not charged or convicted of a crime. Expungement means that your record will be destroyed or removed from public access and will not be used against you in any way. To be eligible for expungement, you must have been arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony that was not classified as dangerous or violent, and you must not have any pending charges or convictions for any offense. To apply for expungement, you must file a petition with the court where you were arrested and pay any applicable fees. The court will then review your petition and decide whether to grant it or not based on various factors. Some of the factors that


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