Don’t Forget: New Law Taking Effect in Arizona in 2023
Will you, a friend or family member be affected by this new law? Read on to find out.
WHAT IS A 'SEALING LAW'?
On January 1, 2023, Arizona’s new “Sealing Law” went into effect. The law is expected to give Arizonans with criminal backgrounds something of a “do over”, providing the opportunity to shield records from public view. This should allow greater access to opportunities that could help someone reenter society on a level playing field. With greater access to public housing assistance and better jobs, this new law could really help someone reenter society.
YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO HAVE CRIMINAL CASE RECORDS SEALED
What are the circumstances for eligibility?
According to AZCourts.Gov, “Any person arrested, convicted, or sentenced before, on or after December 31, 2022, may petition the court to have their criminal case record sealed. If the court grants the petition...the petitioner would be allowed to state on employment, housing, and financial aid or loan applications that they have never been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of the crime that is the subject of the arrest or conviction.”
HOW TO GET THE BALL ROLLING
Will this happen automatically?
The simple answer is no. The petitioner must apply to have their records sealed in each court where they’ve been convicted. Visit AZCourts.gov for complete information on the requirements and to fill out the request.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
All convictions are eligible to be sealed except for Class 1 felonies, and certain violent and sexual offenses.
The is one caveat: any case record that was published or distributed before the new law was enacted may still be accessible and may not be impacted even after the ‘sealing request’ has been granted.