What does my record show when a DUI is set aside or expunged?

The Arizona law does not require that a conviction be removed from a person’s criminal record. It is required that the record show that the conviction has been set aside. When a DUI is expunged or set aside in Arizona, a records check will probably show the original charge and conviction. However, it should also show that the DUI judgment was vacated and that an order of dismissal was entered.


What are the benefits of having a felony conviction set aside?

For someone convicted of a felony DUI, a set aside can be very important because it has the effect of releasing the defendant from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction with some exceptions. (See A.R.S. §§ 28-3304 – 3308). Although there is a prior DUI felony conviction, the record also indicates that the person successfully completed all court requirements and the Court vacated the DUI judgment and dismissed the charges. This has the effect of putting the felony offense in a person’s past as long as there are no present or future convictions. The focus moves to the present and to positive attributes, rather than on past transgressions.


What are the benefits having a misdemeanor DUI conviction set aside?

For someone convicted of a misdemeanor DUI, the benefits of a set aside are less because misdemeanor convictions do not impose the same restrictions on constitutional rights that a felony does. In addition, a misdemeanor DUI does not carry the same stigma in the community as a felony conviction. Further, there may not be the same barriers to employment and housing. However, some misdemeanor DUI convictions, such as drug convictions, can present obstacles to employment and housing so a set aside may be helpful.

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