FINRA Criminal Expungement Award:

Advisor Expunges 14-Year-Old Criminal Disclosure And Seals Records

FINRA Criminal Expungement Award:

Advisor Expunges a 14-Year-Old Criminal Disclosure


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Award Date: October 2022
Hearing Site: Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County
Respondent Firm: First Allied Securities, Inc.
Claimant Representative: Tad Burton J.D.

Case Objective:

A financial services professional in his early 30s had lived with a criminal disclosure on his records since before the beginning of his career in the industry. Changes to Arizona law in 2021 opened a pathway for the representative to finally erase the disclosure from his records. With the help of AdvisorLaw, he’s now able to build the rest of his career with a pristine public record.

Case Summary:

In March of 2008, at the age of 20, this individual was charged with felony “drug paraphernalia” and “marijuana” violations in the Maricopa County Court in Tempe, Arizona. He had possessed less than one ounce of marijuana, he never pled, and both charges were dismissed in March of 2009 after he completed a three-month diversion program and paid a $1,000 fine.

Regardless of the dismissal of the charges, once he began his industry career as a self-employed insurance agent in October of 2010, his CRD disclosures reflected a “yes” answer to question 14A(b) — indicating that he had been charged with a felony in the past. Additionally, his CRD record contained a Criminal Disclosure Details (U4) reporting page, and his BrokerCheck profile showed criminal disclosure reflecting the incident and making it publicly visible — for another decade.

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Then Arizona Proposition 207 appeared on the November 2020 Arizona general election ballot. Prop 207 was a voter initiative to legalize cannabis for recreational use. It passed with 60% of the vote and legalized the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, licensed sales at dispensaries, and permitted cultivation of up to six plants.

Additionally, the proposition included a provision for expungement of certain marijuana-related records. Beginning on July 12, 2021, upon petition, the courts were required to expunge arrests, charges, and convictions of eligible persons relating to the possession, consumption, or transportation of marijuana amounting to less than 2.5 ounces or six plants, as well as for possessing, using, or transporting paraphernalia. Another law passed in 2021 authorized the sealing of all case records related to uncharged arrests and dismissed and acquitted charges.


With the counsel of Tad Burton, J.D., the financial representative submitted documentation of the Order of Dismissal of his 2008 charge, along with a Petition to Expunge Marijuana-Related Offense Records, to the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County. The court granted the petition, expunged the criminal charge from the rep’s record, and sealed all case records.

Prior to 2021, Arizona had offered no path to expungement for any criminal charges or convictions. Now, as shown by the success of this individual in expunging and sealing any record of the incident, Arizona does offer a path to clean up a person’s record.

In addition to being AdvisorLaw’s first criminal disclosure expungement success in the state of Arizona, this rep’s CRD record and BrokerCheck profile are now disclosure free and representative of his impeccable conduct throughout his financial services career.

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Expungement Award