This is the second post in our series on the sealing or “expungement” or Arkansas criminal records. Our last post provided an overview of topics we will be discussing and stressed the need to utilize an attorney when clearing your history. Retaining counsel helps to ensure that the process is properly followed and helps to ensure that the Court does not reject your Petition. In this article we will address the commonly asked question of whether one is eligible to seal their history. If you require assistance then contact our Little Rock office to speak with a lawyer.
Arkansas allows for the sealing of criminal records. Our state formerly referred to this process as “expungement.” In order to be eligible for sealing your history you must have been convicted of an offense which was eligible for sealing at the time of your conviction. If you were convicted and the law was subsequently changed to allow the sealing of your given charge then you may not be eligible to clear your history. You may be eligible to seal your history if:
- You were convicted, for a first offense, of a traffic related offense or of violating laws regarding controlled substances
- You were arrested but not charged with a crime
- You were arrested and charged with a crime but the case was either dismissed or it ended with an acquittal
- If you received a pardon, unless your case involved a sexual offense or the death of a victim
If you meet any of these criteria then you may be eligible to begin the process. If you were convicted then you will need to have completed your sentence, probation, or other required supervision before you file a Petition with the Court.
Arkansas does not allow one to engage in the record clearing process if they have done so previously, if they have more than one felony conviction, if they have pending arrests or an open criminal case, or if their offense, again, involved sexual crimes or a victim’s death. An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for this process. Counsel will review all relevant Court filings and run a records search. This will allow them to gain a full understanding of your situation and to help you understand all available options.
Contact our Little Rock office today to schedule an initial consultation. We are ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.