New Law Provides a Second Chance through Sealing of Records

by Vincent Funari

PHOENIX (May 9, 2023) – Trying to find employment in a competitive job market with a criminal arrest or conviction can be a difficult challenge.

To help people navigate this situation and support giving them a second chance, the Maricopa County Superior Court is providing self-represented litigants the necessary resources and forms to request their criminal records be sealed. To access the forms, please visit:

“On December 31, Arizona passed a new law allowing defendants and individuals to have their criminal case or arrest record sealed by petitioning the court. After considering the application, along with additional information from the State and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Court may grant or deny the request,” Criminal Court Administrator Nicole Garcia said.

Once a defendant submits their petition, the Court will order a criminal history report from DPS, which has 60 days to return the report to the Court. 

Defendants can do their part to assist with efficient processing of their petition by including all supporting documentation, including any orders of discharge from probation or certificates of absolute discharge from the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry. The discharge from probation can be acquired at any public access terminal at the Court, and the certificate of absolute discharge from ADCRR can be obtained by visiting their website. If any pertinent information is missing, the Court may dismiss the petition for insufficient information.

Since the implementation of the new law, Superior Court has received more than 600 petitions.

“While this new law doesn’t go so far as to expunge a criminal record, it is an important step in helping justice-involved individuals put their past behind them. Sealing criminal records or arrest histories combined with getting one’s civil rights restored could give many people an opportunity to turn a new leaf,” Garcia said.

To be eligible, all defendants must have met all terms and conditions of the sentence and received an absolute discharge from the ADCRR. This includes payment of all fines, fees and restitution. Also, individuals may petition to seal a criminal offense where the charge was dismissed, resulted in a not-guilty verdict at trial or an arrest where no charges were filed.

To learn how to petition the Court to seal your criminal record, please visit:

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The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County is comprised of Superior Court, Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation, which includes juvenile detention. The Judicial Branch in Maricopa County is the fourth largest trial court system in the nation and, along with its 3,000 employees, is dedicated to providing a safe, fair and impartial forum for resolving disputes, enhancing access to services, and providing innovative, evidence-based practices that improve the safety of the community and ensure the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch. For more information, visit

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