Phoenix, AZ asked in Criminal Law and Employment Law for Arizona

Q: What exactly are the benefits of a "set aside" judgment?

I recently had shoplifting and a marijuana charge "set aside" by the Phoenix court. I am aware this is not the same as expungment. So my question is, can these charges still be held against me when renting an apartment or applying for a clearance card? I cant seem to find a straight answer on this. Thank you all in advance.

(These were not felonies, by the way.)

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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Maerowitz
Matthew Maerowitz
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: The reason you aren't getting a straight answer is because the charges, even if set aside, are still accessible when a background check is run. A set aside is different from an expungment because it doesn't seal the record. An employer for example running a background check can still see that you have been charged with shoplifting and marijuana. However, the benefit is that a background check will show these charges as being set aside. You should also have an order from the Court stating that the charges should be treated as dismissed and free from penalty except for certain limited purposes such as court and MVD.

I have found that people who have had their conviction/s set aside typically do not have issues when it comes to most employment and apartments.

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