Posted on September 1, 2021 in Expungement
Arizona is known for its strict criminal laws and penalties. On April 1, 2021, however, Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill (HB) 2067 into law, which eases the restrictions on obtaining occupational licenses for people with criminal histories. With the passing of HB 2067, people who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses in Arizona have the opportunity to seek a Certificate of Second Chance – opening the door to greater occupational licensing, employment and housing opportunities.
House Bill 2067 amends Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-905, which is the law that allows people with criminal histories to apply to the court to have their convictions set aside after fulfilling the conditions of their sentences. HB 2067, also called the Arizona Expungement Bill, amends the statute to add that the court may issue an order that includes a Certificate of Second Chance if a person has a judgment set aside under the following conditions:
HB 2067 also states that if the court does not include a Certificate of Second Chance in the individual’s original order when a conviction is set aside, the individual has the right to apply for the certificate after meeting all of the requirements. The new amendment took effect August 27, 2021, and will benefit those in Arizona with prior criminal records for both misdemeanor and felony convictions.
Unlike many other states, Arizona does not have an expungement law that allows ex-offenders to erase their criminal histories entirely. Instead, Arizona allows certain qualifying individuals to have their criminal records set aside. Setting aside a conviction means that the courts dismiss the penalties and vacate any related disabilities. Unlike expungement, however, the record of the prior conviction will remain intact, with a note on the file that says it has been set aside.
Having a record set aside shows that you completed your probation or sentence and that the court vacated the judgment or dismissed the charges. Although having your charges dismissed will not seal your criminal record, it can reduce the negative impacts that a criminal conviction has on your life. An employer or landlord will be able to see that the court set aside your conviction on the record, which can allow for greater employment opportunities.
With the passing of House Bill 2067, eligible ex-offenders will receive a Certificate of Second Chance, releasing them from all barriers and limitations that previously prevented them from obtaining occupational licenses. Although an employer will still be able to see a job applicant’s criminal history on the record, they will also see that the judgment has been set aside and that the individual has obtained the required occupational license to perform the job.
HB 2067 can make it easier for someone with a prior criminal conviction in Arizona to find employment by allowing the individual to obtain the required occupational licenses. Before this bill, many ex-offenders could not apply for the occupational licenses that they needed for certain careers. The change in law can increase job opportunities, as well as housing opportunities thanks to a stable job and income, for people with criminal histories.
If you are interested in finding out if you are eligible to have your conviction set aside and receiving a Certificate of Second Chance under HB 2067, consult with a Phoenix expungement lawyer today.