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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 24911
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was convicted of a Class II misdemeanor in AZ

Customer Question

I was convicted of a Class II misdemeanor in AZ for knowingly displaying a fictitious license plate. The plate was on a pickup bed home built trailer that my father had just modified. I picked up the trailer and on my way home (more than 100 miles) I was stopped because the plate did not match the vehicle. The plate was registered to the truck that was modified now into this trailer, so the plate was never removed from the rear bumper.
The officer was going to cite me for not having a current registration and then changed his mind and cited me for an offense "the judge can easily dismiss" when I take in my current registration. Foolishly I did not look up the statute before I went to court and pled guilty showing the judge my new registration for the trailer. I was shocked when I learned I had been charged with a misdemeanor charge and then fined a large fine along with a brand new criminal record.
I have read that in certain cases it is possible to have convictions set aside or expunged in AZ and I would like to do that, asking for my record to be cleared and online references to the conviction expunged.
My questions are:
1. Am I correct in that I can petition the court to set aside the conviction?
2. In the petition could it be requested that the courts expunge the online references to the conviction?
3. Is this something I can petition for on my own or should I obtain an Attorney?
4. If I should petition on my own, is there a standard petition form I would use?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer. 1. Am I correct in that I can petition the court to set aside the conviction? -- Arizona will only expunge convictions if you have been wrongfully convicted indicted or charged, which is not your situation. But set-asides are generally possible. You would have to petition the judge who sentenced you for that. You can see the law relating to that process here, as well as which types of criminal offense are ineligible for the set aside: http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/13/00907.htm 2. In the petition could it be requested that the courts expunge the online references to the conviction? -- you can, but the court has no jurisdiction over, say, commercial background checking firms and other non-state related websites. You would have to contact those sites with news of your set-aside yourself. 3. Is this something I can petition for on my own or should I obtain an Attorney? -- This is something that can be done without a lawyer. 4. If I should petition on my own, is there a standard petition form I would use? -- There are petition forms on the web for Arizona. If your county isn't there, the clerk of the court where your case took place would likely have one for you or you could use the attached as a template.