Set-Aside & Certificate of Second Chance in Arizona

Stephen R. Glazer

In the state of Arizona, it is possible to petition the court to Set-Aside your conviction and receive a Certificate of Second Chance. But what does it mean to Set Aside a conviction and what exactly is a Certificate of Second Chance?


Set Asides are one of the oldest ways pursuant to statute on how to show that you completed all the terms of your sentence and there is nothing outstanding. For example, if someone was convicted of a misdemeanor DUI Offense, typically they would have to serve some jail time, complete a substance abuse screening and any recommended follow-up counseling, install a Certified Ignition Interlock Device/Breathalyzer (in some cases), and pay all fines in full. Once this is completed a person is typically eligible to Set Aside their conviction. These requirements do vary from case to case so it is best to speak to a licensed attorney to discuss your eligibility.

Additionally, the Arizona legislature recently updated the statute which also allows a judge to grant a “Certificate of Second Chance.” This Certificate can be presented to employers and may exclude them from liability in certain types of jobs.

Last, some cases are NOT eligible to be Set Aside. Some examples of things that will exclude someone from being able to apply for a set aside are:

  1. A Dangerous Offense
  2. An offense which requires registration under A.R.S. 13-3821 (examples include kidnapping, sex abuse, molestation of a child, sexual exploitation, unlawful imprisonment, or sexual assault to name a few)
  3. An offense for which there was a finding of sexual motivation (A.R.S. 13-118)
  4. A felony offense when the victim was a minor under the age of fifteen.

There is generally not a required timeline that you need to wait after conviction. However, these are generally not granted until released from probation and all fines and fees have been paid.


When requesting a set-aside, you may also ask the court to issue a Certificate of Second Chance. A Certificate of Second Chance is a document issued by the court that releases the person receiving it of all barriers and limitations to obtaining occupational licenses under Title 32. As long as you are otherwise qualified for the position, you will not be restricted from obtaining a license due to your conviction. Architects, health care professionals, cosmetologists, and accounts are just a few examples of careers that may be restricted to those with a conviction on their records.

If you are interested in pursuing a Set-Aside or a Certificate of Second Chance, call Glazer, Hammond, Ruben & Smets, PLLC today to speak with one of our criminal attorneys.

We offer case consultations to inform you of your options and put your mind at ease.Call us at (928) 213-5916 or Contact Us Here to speak with Flagstaff attorney Stephen R. Glazer, today!

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