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The Long-Term Consequences of a Criminal Record in Arizona: How to Minimize the Impact

June 10, 2024

In Arizona, having a criminal record can have far-reaching consequences that impact many aspects of life, from employment and housing to civic rights. Understanding these consequences and taking proactive steps to mitigate their effects is critical for those with a criminal record. This blog post delves into the long-term implications of having a criminal record in Arizona and provides practical strategies for minimizing its impact.

1. Employment Challenges

One of the most immediate and significant consequences of a criminal record is its effect on employment opportunities. Many employers conduct background checks and can be hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal history, fearing potential liability or concerns about trustworthiness and character. In Arizona, while some protections exist for job seekers with criminal records, such as the “ban the box” law for public employment, private employers are not bound by this rule. They can inquire about criminal histories early in the hiring process.

Minimizing the Impact of Employment Challenges

Expungement and Set-Asides: Arizona law does NOT allow for expungement.  However, it does allow setting aside certain criminal convictions, making it easier to secure employment. While this doesn’t erase the conviction, it indicates that the court has dismissed the charges following the successful sentence completion. 

Professional Licensing: Many professional licenses require background checks, but having a criminal record doesn’t necessarily disqualify you. Research the specific requirements for your field and consider legal counsel like Jeff Gould Law, the Attorney In YOUR Corner, to navigate any obstacles. 

Honesty and Rehabilitation: When applying for jobs, honesty about your past can sometimes be the best policy. When in doubt, disclose…  Focus on how you have rehabilitated and the steps you’ve taken to turn your life around. Many employers will value honesty and integrity, taking it as evidence that you have made positive changes in your life.

2. Housing Difficulties

Securing stable housing is another significant challenge for those with a criminal record. Many landlords conduct background checks and may refuse to rent to individuals with certain types of criminal histories. This can lead to housing instability and make finding a safe, secure place to live difficult. 

Seek Out Second Chance Housing: Some landlords and housing programs provide second chances to those with criminal records. Research local resources and housing advocacy groups that can connect you with more accommodating landlords. 

Rental References and Co-Signers: Strong references from employers, parole officers, or community leaders can bolster your application. Additionally, having a co-signer with a clean record can sometimes help secure housing.  Understanding Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights under the Fair Housing Act and other relevant laws that may protect against certain types of discrimination.

3. Impact on Civil Rights

A criminal record can also affect your civil rights. In Arizona, individuals convicted of a felony lose their right to vote, serve on a jury, and possess firearms. While some rights are automatically restored after completing your sentence, others require a formal petition to the court. 

Voting Rights: In Arizona, first-time felony offenders automatically regain their voting rights upon completion of their sentence, including probation and parole. Repeat offenders must petition the court for restoration. 

Firearm Rights: Restoring the right to possess firearms is more complex and typically requires a court order. This process can vary depending on the nature of the offense and the time elapsed since the completion of your sentence.  Legal Assistance: Seeking legal counsel can be invaluable in navigating the process of restoring your civic rights. Many legal aid organizations offer services to help individuals with criminal rights.

Don’t Let a Criminal Record Affect You!

While having a criminal record in Arizona presents significant challenges, its impact can be minimized through proactive steps and utilizing available resources. By seeking legal assistance, staying informed about your rights, and engaging in community and rehabilitation efforts, you can work towards rebuilding your life and reducing the long-term consequences of your criminal record. Remember, the journey to overcoming these challenges is a process, but with persistence and support, it is achievable. Are you concerned about the long-term consequences of your criminal record? Then…

Don’t DELAY: Call Jeff GOULD Law, the Attorney In YOUR Corner – TODAY!

DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be legal advice.  It is for general informational use only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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