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How Long is a DUI on Your Record in Arizona?

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

Clinically Reviewed By: Karen Williams, LPC

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

Many lawyers speak about driving under the influence as a different type of law than criminal law. We need to understand that driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime that will leave you with a criminal record if you end up getting convicted. 

Learn more about DUI convictions in Arizona and what to do if you find yourself in trouble. 

Searching for help with drug and/or alcohol addiction? Call us now at (888) 201-4610.

Contents

How Long is a DUI on Your Record in Arizona?

Here’s what you need to know; a felony conviction cannot be expunged in Arizona; hence you cannot simply erase a DUI conviction.

In other words, you have no choice but to take the right course of action when and if you find yourself in a situation where you could be found guilty of driving under the influence.

More importantly, you must do your best to avoid getting a DUI charge on your record, as the Arizona DUI laws are extremely strict, and they do not take the matter lightly. Alternatively, it’s better to petition for your conviction to be “set aside” if the first option doesn’t work.

A criminal record will taint your resume when seeking future job opportunities. There are various outcomes based on your behavior, but being convicted is never good.

For instance, a DUI might have severe ramifications if your job requires you to drive. If you are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, your conviction could affect your eligibility to obtain a driver’s license.

Also, many employers are known to turn down applicants who are convicted felons. No matter how clean your driving record is, many companies prefer to avoid hiring those who have been previously convicted of a felony.

Can I Get a DUI Set Aside in Arizona?

A DUI can be set aside in the state of Arizona. The term “setting aside” describes the process of removing a prior conviction from a person’s record, so that it might not be considered or counted against them. 

However, a DUI record can never be sealed or expunged completely in the state of Arizona. 

A clean criminal record can be claimed regardless of where you reside. You are no longer charged with a DUI if you have a clean driving record. However, let’s discuss a few exceptions.

The Arizona law only allows expungement of records for minors under 18 who have been convicted of a crime. A dismissal may be granted to someone whose DUI conviction has been overturned due to a change in behavior since their arrest.

Institutions, recruiters, and other organizations usually do not see it when performing routine background checks. However, they will observe that there was a dismissal for the then-existing DUI on a deeper inquiry.

Since your only criminal record is a DUI, you can claim that no other charges have been filed against you. A clean criminal record, including an expunged DUI, improves your prospects of being hired, winning a scholarship, or being admitted to specific institutions and universities.

DUI Classes and Alcohol Assessments

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What About Your Driving Record?

If you have a DUI conviction set aside, it will not be erased from your driving record but will be less visible.

In Arizona, a DUI conviction results in an automatic 8 points violation of your license. Even with the DUI being set aside, these points don’t go away immediately; only over time do they fade away.

It’s advisable to get the DUI done away with. Following a DUI sentencing, there is a procedure that your DUI attorney must carry out, which will help streamline the whole process and improve your chances of getting your life back on track.

Government Jobs, Professionals, and Sensitive Occupations

Please note that select employers can still access deleted and set aside records.

When applying for a state or federal government job, you may be asked to reveal any criminal convictions you’ve had in the past. Government employees can still see it even if a sentence is overturned or wiped by a court.

If you work with children, your expunged record will be under review. There will also be access to information from professional licensing agencies for the legal and medical professions.

What Factors Do Arizona Courts Consider During A Set-Aside?

A judge in Arizona will weigh various circumstances while deciding whether or not to order a set-aside. If a court grants a set-aside, it will take into account the following:

  • The severity of the DUI conviction
  • Whether or not the petitioner agreed with the court’s sentence guidelines.
  • Time duration of the sentence imposed.
  • The defendant’s actions will be considered after a conviction for a crime.

A judge will have the ability to overturn your conviction after considering all of the above factors. The court will then accept your application after granting you the set-aside.

Individuals who want to expunge their criminal records must pay consistent fees and fines. Adherence to the court’s guidelines should be followed and taken very seriously.

Setting Aside Your DUI Conviction

A few procedures must be completed before a DUI conviction can be expunged from one’s record, including the following:

  • Completing a probationary period as instructed.
  • All fees and penalties must be paid in full.
  • Complying and attending court-ordered DUI classes online and other conditions, such as installing an Ignition Interlock Device.

That’s not all, as you will have to show the court that all of the conditions of your DUI sentence were met. In addition, following a DUI conviction, most judges will also consider how clean your criminal record has been since the incident.

Use the services of a skilled DUI lawyer to help you plan and complete the expungement procedure.

If you want to have your conviction overturned, you’ll need to fill out and submit your paperwork to the Arizona Superior Court.

An attorney can provide you with all of the assistance necessary when it comes to overturning DUI convictions. You can also initiate the set-aside process by filling out the set-aside paperwork packet. 

Subsequent DUI Convictions

Be rest assured that the number of prior offenses the driver has had will affect the severity of a DUI. Thus, those who commit the offense for the first time receive a lower penalty than repeat offenders.

What you do to get your first DUI off your record doesn’t matter. Second convictions don’t overwrite previous ones. Also, Even though an Arizona court has overturned two prior convictions, third-time DUI convictions are still counted.

WHAT A SECOND DUI MEANS FOR YOUR RECORD

Several elements, including the circumstances of your case, your criminal record, and a range of other factors, must be considered when determining whether or not your DUI conviction can be overturned. The judge will decide and deliver a verdict after examining various factors.

Having your DUI record set aside is not bread and butter. Some people may have difficulty following the steps and may need an attorney.

If you’ve found yourself with a DUI charge in Arizona, please contact us today to learn about our DUI Classes which will help satisfy the requirements.

SOURCES

[1] Superior Court

[2] Arizona Set-Aside Law 

[3] Set-Aside Paperwork Packet PDF

DUI Classes and Alcohol Assessments

Call to learn about our DUI classes and virtual alcohol screening.

Questions about DUI Classes? We can answer your questions. 

Author: Cornerstone Content Team

Author: Cornerstone Content Team

Cornerstone's content team is comprised of writers with experience and expertise in addiction, treatment, and recovery.

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Karen is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 15 years experience. She not only specializes in addiction, but is in recovery as well. Karen is our clinical director.

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