Mr. Eastman serves as the firm’s managing partner, and is licensed to practice law in California, Oregon, and Texas.
Sam has helped thousands of clients expunge, seal, and set-aside records across the country, and has a passion for criminal justice reform. Previously, Mr. Eastman represented a number of corporate clients, focusing on tax law, mergers and acquisitions, and a variety of corporate transactions.
Mr. Eastman earned his JD and LLM from the University of San Diego School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.
HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FIREARM RIGHTS IN ARIZONA
You May Be Able to Restore Your Second Amendment Rights
When convicted of a crime in Arizona, a criminal record is created with the Arizona Department of Public Safety Criminal History Records Division, who then forwards these records to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, making the records available in a background check.
This Information is for You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our Secure Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Set Aside a Felony Conviction to Get Your Firearm Rights Back
Arizona law allows for the setting aside of both misdemeanor and felony convictions in many situations under ARS 13-907, but not every criminal record qualifies. There are certain offenses that currently cannot be set aside under Arizona law, and you must also receive a final discharge from the terms of your sentence. In addition to meeting these requirements, you must then convince a judge, justice of the peace, or magistrate that you deserve to have your conviction set aside.
General Requirements to Set Aside a Conviction
One of the first conditions of conviction set-asides under ARS 13-907 requires the “…fulfillment of the conditions of probation or sentence and discharge by the court,” before applying to the court. For purposes of setting aside a conviction or restoring your firearm rights, ARS 13-908 defines “final discharge” as the completion of probation or the receipt of an absolute discharge from the Arizona Department of Corrections or United States Bureau of prisons.
Simply, you must have completed all aspects of the terms of your sentencing imposed by the court. All the waiting periods relating to setting aside Arizona convictions or restoring firearm rights use this definition of final discharge as a starting point.
Factors the Court Will Consider
The Arizona legislature recently amended ARS 13-907 to provide guidance for what factors the court shall consider when determining whether to set aside a conviction, including:
- The nature and circumstances of the offense that the conviction is based on;
- The applicant’s compliance with the conditions of probation, the sentence imposed and any state department of corrections’ rules or regulations, if applicable;
- Any prior or subsequent convictions;
- The victim’s input and the status of victim restitution, if any;
- The length of time that has elapsed since the completion of the application sentence;
- The applicant’s age at the time of the conviction; and
- Any other factor relevant to the application.
As you can see from this list of factors, the judge has a lot of discretion in granting your set aside. In addition, certain counties like Maricopa County are generally more hesitant to grant set asides, particularly for those that have only been recently discharged from their sentence. For example, in the case of Maricopa County, it’s preferable to wait at least two years from final discharge with one conviction, and around five years with more than one conviction.
Ineligible Offenses That Cannot Be Set Aside
The following types of criminal convictions cannot be set aside under current Arizona law:
- Offenses involving the infliction of serious physical injury with the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or a “Dangerous Offense”;
- Offenses where the person is required or ordered by the court to register as a sex offender under ARS 13-3821;
- Offenses where there has been a finding of sexual motivation under ARS 13-118;
- Offenses where the victim is a minor under the age of 15; or
- Driving on a suspended, revoked, or cancelled license under ARS 28-3473, any local ordinance relating to stopping, standing or operation of a vehicle, except for Reckless Driving under ARS 28-693 or any similar local ordinance.
A “Dangerous Offense” is defined as “an offense involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another person.” In other words, if you are convicted of using a deadly weapon to seriously injure somebody, Arizona law will never allow you to restore your firearm rights.
Serious Offenses and Waiting Periods
Note that if you are seeking to set aside an offense that is not deemed a “Serious Offense” under ARS 13-706, setting aside your conviction will typically restore your Second Amendment rights to own and possess a firearm at both the state and federal level, if it has been at least two years from final discharge of your sentence. However, if you have been convicted of a “Serious Offense,” ARS 13-910 requires that you wait ten years from final discharge instead of two years.
Under Arizona law, a "Serious offense" means any of the following offenses:
- First degree murder.
- Second degree murder.
- Aggravated assault resulting in serious physical injury or involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Sexual assault.
- Any dangerous crime against children.
- Arson of an occupied structure.
- Armed robbery.
- Burglary in the first degree.
- Sexual conduct with a minor under fifteen years of age.
Will setting aside my conviction restore my Second Amendment rights?
Arizona law provides two different methods to restore firearm rights. If you were not convicted of a “Serious Offense” set forth in ARS 13-706, a simple set aside should restore your right to own a firearm in most cases, if it has been two years since final discharge from the terms of your sentence. However, if you were convicted of a “Serious Offense” you may still restore your firearm rights in many cases 10 years after final discharge from the terms of your sentence, if your offense was not a “Dangerous Offense” under Arizona law.
Not everybody with an Arizona conviction can restore their constitutional right to own or possess firearms, but Arizona’s laws are favorable when compared to other states. It should be noted that you can almost never restore firearm rights based on federal convictions, and it can be very difficult if your Second Amendment rights were taken away due to a domestic violence conviction. For more information about federal firearm rights and domestic violence charges, the Department of Justice has resources you can find over domestic violence convictions.
The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Each of Arizona’s criminal record services have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Arizona criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Arizona criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of an Arizona criminal record.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Arizona state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!