Expungement of Criminal Records – General – Arkansas
1. What is an expungement?
The process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges. Under Ark. Code Ann. §16-90-902, the record is deemed as a matter of law never to have occurred, and the individual may state that no such conduct ever occurred and that no such records exist.
2. Do the records just “disappear”?
No. Ark. Code Ann. §16-90-901 provides that unless otherwise provided, “expunge” shall not mean the physical destruction of any records
3. What records may be expunged?
When there is no guilty verdict, the all arrest records, petitions, orders, docket sheets, and any other documents relating to the case may be expunged. Ark. Code Ann. §16-90-906.
4. Who is eligible for an expungement?
(1) Pardoned criminals, with the exception of those pardoned for offenses against minors, offenses resulting in death or serious injury, and sex offenses. Ark. Code Ann. §16-90-605.
(2) First offenders in many criminal, driving, and controlled substance cases who successfully complete terms of probation. Ark. Code Ann §5-65-108, Ark. Code Ann §5-65-308.
(3) Minors pardoned for offenses committed while under 16 years of age. Ark. Code Ann §16-90-601.
(4) A person who is convicted of a nonviolent felony committed while the person was under the age of eighteen. Ark. Code Ann § 16-90-602.
(5) A person who successfully completes probation or a commitment to the Department of Correction with judicial transfer to the Department of Community Correction for certain offenses eligible for community punishment placement, and meets the following conditions:
(A)had no more than one (1) previous felony conviction and that the previous felony was other than a conviction for a capital offense, or murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, first degree rape, kidnapping, or aggravated robbery, or the offense of delivering controlled substances to a minor, as prohibited in §5-64-410; or
(B) has no prior felony convictions. Ark. Code Ann. §16-93-1207
(6) Any individual who has been charged and arrested for any criminal offense where the charges are subsequently nolle prossed or dismissed, or the individual is acquitted at trial. Ark. Code Ann. §16-90-906.
5. How do I get an “Expungement”?
Upon completion of the sentence or expiration of the suspension or probation period or at any time thereafter, a nonviolent felony offender may petition the convicting court to have the record of the conviction expunged. Ark. Code Ann §16-90-601, et seq.
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