Does a Sealed Record Help My Car Insurance?
A criminal record can greatly impact one’s life, including employment and housing opportunities. In Arizona, individuals have the option to have their criminal records sealed, which restricts access to the public. Sealing a criminal record can also have a positive impact on obtaining auto insurance at a lower rate.
Auto insurance is crucial for anyone, regardless of their criminal history. It protects financial assets in the event of an accident, as well as meets state requirements for driving legally.
Auto insurance companies like Geico, State Farm, and Progressive Insurance often review applicants’ personal histories, and a criminal background may lead to higher rates. A criminal record can also impact employment, relationships, and lifestyle. Although, there’s still a chance to find affordable coverage, finding cheap high-risk auto insurance may require more effort.
They may run a criminal background check, including a county or federal check, and review your motor vehicle report and credit score. Although you may view your criminal record as private, insurers must assess the risk you pose as a driver. A credit score reflects financial responsibility, while a motor vehicle report displays prior accidents and violations.
An insurer may examine felony charges and serious driving incidents, such as the convictions below.
Examples of convictions that can impact a person’s auto insurances rates are:
- Driving Under the Influence / DUI
- Driving While Intoxicated / DWI
- Excessive Speeding
- Reckless Driving
- At-fault Accident Causing Injury
For individuals with a sealed record, it is still important to shop around for the best coverage and rates.
Impact of Criminal Record on Auto Insurance
While minor traffic violations usually disappear from a driving record after 3-5 years, criminal records persist for much longer. Felony convictions can remain on a record for years, even if there’s no expunction or nondisclosure requirement for a DUI conviction.
Misdemeanors, felonies, or repeat offenses can stay on a record from 5 years to a lifetime.
Car insurers typically follow a standard look-back period of 3-5 years for driving records. During this time, minor violations like speeding tickets roll off, but criminal charges are still revealed through the background check. To erase a criminal record, one could petition for expungement after serving the sentence. Laws vary, but expungement means the court wipes the record clean.
Being charged with a crime is different from being convicted of a crime and impacts auto insurance differently. A criminal proceeding involves being charged, arrested, and possibly convicted.
A criminal record may show court hearings, even if one isn’t convicted of a DUI. Companies weigh DUI charges differently, but past risky driving behaviors can lead to a high-risk insurance rate.
High-risk insurance is more costly for those who pose a higher risk to an insurance company. This could be due to a history of irresponsible driving or instability. Some individuals with multiple incidents on their criminal or driving records may be denied coverage or listed as uninsured. The criminal record can also affect others on a shared policy and raise the rate.
Below are the Top 10 FAQs About the Benefits of a Sealed Record in Arizona.
1. What is a sealed criminal record in Arizona?
A sealed criminal record in Arizona is a record that is restricted from public access and only available to law enforcement and certain government agencies.
2. How does sealing a criminal record impact auto insurance?
Sealing a criminal record can lower auto insurance premiums as it reduces the risk factor associated with the individual.
3. Can a sealed record still be used by insurance companies?
Insurance companies have access to criminal records through the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) database, but they may not use a sealed record as a factor in determining insurance rates.
4. How long does it take to seal a criminal record in Arizona?
The process of sealing a criminal record in Arizona typically takes about 4-6 months.
5. Who is eligible to have their criminal record sealed in Arizona?
Eligibility for sealing a criminal record in Arizona depends on the type of crime committed and the length of time since completion of the sentence.
6. Can all criminal records be sealed in Arizona?
Not all criminal records can be sealed in Arizona, such as sex crimes, certain violent crimes, and some fraud convictions.
7. How does sealing a criminal record affect background checks?
Sealing a criminal record in Arizona means it will not show up on most background checks conducted by potential employers or landlords.
8. Can a sealed record be unsealed in Arizona?
In certain circumstances, a sealed record can be unsealed in Arizona, such as for certain government agencies or for a subsequent criminal charge.
9. Is there a fee to have a criminal record sealed in Arizona?
Yes, there is a fee to have a criminal record sealed in Arizona. This depends on the complexity of the convictions, whether it was a misdemeanor or felony, even if there was jail or prison time served.
10. How can I begin the process of sealing my criminal record in Arizona?
To begin the process of sealing a criminal record in Arizona, individuals should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for guidance and assistance. You can also begin by taking our Free Eligibility Survey Here.
In conclusion, it is important for individuals to understand the benefits and eligibility requirements for sealing their record.
Sealing a criminal record in Arizona can have a positive impact on many aspects of life, including obtaining auto insurance at a lower cost.
Auto insurance is a necessary protection for anyone, including those with a sealed criminal record, and it is important to shop around for the best coverage and rates.
Start With Your Free 5-Minute Eligibility Survey
Take our free online eligibility test to find out what choices are available for your specific Arizona case and get started in the right direction to getting your rights back!