Q: I was arrested for shoplifting on 9/14/2021. I have a court date of 9/30. I want to get it expunged from my record.
I know I need a lawyer to represent me. What does the lawyer do on their part to do this. Why do I need a lawyer to do this. What do they do to get this to go through? It is my first offense. The shoplifting cost I took was $130.00.
Arizona does not expunge criminal records (with the exception of marijuana possession charges and that has occurred in the last year). The arrest will be with you forever. You may be able to negotiate a deferred entry of judgment. Deferred entry would mean that if you stay out of trouble (usually for a term of one year), the judgment would not be entered and the charges would be dismissed. It would not show up as a conviction, but you will be stuck with the arrest.
You SHOULD get an opportunity to speak with the prosecutor at your court date. You can ask if s/he would be willing to allow you to enter into a deferred judgment agreement. If they refuse to negotiate with you, you should seek counsel. If you qualify, you may be appointed a public defender.
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