gavel with law bookThis is the next post in my series on the handling of reckless driving charges in Little Rock, Arkansas. My last article addressed the question of “is reckless driving a felony or a misdemeanor?” It is important to understand that, while our state may charge the offense as a misdemeanor, a conviction still carries serious consequences. These consequences can include jail time, having a permanent criminal record, as well as several points being counted against your driver’s license. By retaining an attorney immediately, you help to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. I will be using this article to discuss the possibility of sealing your conviction so that it does not appear on a background check. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

Arkansas allows many misdemeanor convictions to be sealed relatively quickly. This includes a reckless driving conviction. Under state law, a conviction that has been sealed is hidden from the public’s view. This means, for example, that it will not show up during most background checks and other such searches. It is important to understand, however, that a sealed record is not destroyed or deleted from existence (which is referred to as “expungement”). Instead, the record will still be viewable by law enforcement, court officials, and other government personnel. This means that, while the conviction would not appear on a background check, it could still be used as a basis to increase the penalties for any future offenses.

You will typically be able to seal the conviction if the following criteria has been met:

  • You have fully completed your jail sentence or you have been successfully discharged from probation
  • You have paid all fines and restitution which were required by your original sentence
  • You have completed any other obligations which the Court put in place as part of your original sentence

The process of sealing your record will begin by filing a Petition with the Court. This will occur in the same court where your conviction was entered. The Petition will be served upon the prosecutor. If the prosecutor objects to the sealing of your record (which they must do within thirty days), then a hearing must be held. Many record sealings are completed without holding a hearing. Retaining an attorney to assist you with this process can help you to ensure that the matter is handled properly. This, in turn, can help to make sure that you do not have to restart the process due to an error.

If you wish to seal a reckless driving conviction then contact my office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer. I believe that people deserve a second chance in life and my office will file your Petition with the Court as soon as possible. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of service and we look forward to being of assistance. I also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the remainder of Arkansas.