Your juvenile record is following you around like a bad smell. It pops up every time you apply for a job. It was there when the police stopped you for speeding. You finished your probation. But should you set-aside or destroy it? What is the difference?

The state of Arizona does allow you to both set aside and destroy your juvenile record. ARS Title 8-349 states the adjudicated delinquent may apply for the destruction of his or her juvenile record. Set-aside does not get rid of your criminal record, and the record continues to show up in background checks.

Conditions to destroying records

In order to seal and destroy your records, you must meet the following conditions:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • No felony conviction
  • No pending criminal charges
  • Completion of all the conditions of probation or discharge from juvenile corrections
  • All restitution paid
  • All monetary obligations paid in full
  • Not under the jurisdiction of juvenile court or juvenile corrections
  • Not required to register as a sex offender

Juvenile offenders who are at least 25 years of age are also able to destroy their records. All the above conditions are the same. Also, the court must believe the destruction of the records would further the rehabilitation of the person applying.

Conditions to set aside adjudication

 To may apply to set aside adjudication if:

  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You do not have a conviction for a criminal offense through an adult court
  • You do not have a criminal charge pending in an adult court
  • You have successfully completed probation or discharged from juvenile corrections
  • You have made full payment of restitution and fines
  • You are not trying to set aside a sex offense, DUI, use of a dangerous weapon or infliction of serious physical injury

The conditions are similar. But setting aside a juvenile adjudication means you do not owe further penalties and disabilities. Sealing or destroying your record does not relieve you of penalties or disabilities.