Sealing A Criminal Conviction

In Arkansas, it is possible to have your conviction "sealed". This used to be called an "expungement". When your record is sealed, the physical copies of the case will not be destroyed, but they will be treated as confidential for most purposes. Arkansas law regarding sealing is governed by the "Comprehensive Criminal Record Sealing Act of 2013".

Can My Case Be Sealed / Expunged?

For a misdemeanor conviction, you can get your record sealed after 60 days. However, there are some crimes that are exceptions to this and will require a waiting period of 5 years. Those crimes are:

  • Negligent Homicide
  • Third Degree Battery
  • Indecent Exposure
  • DWI / DUI
  • Fourth Degree Sexual Assault
  • Public Sexual Indecency

For a felony conviction, you are eligible to get your record sealed after 5 years if you have no more than one prior felony conviction and the crime at issue was:

  • Unclassified
  • Class D or C
  • A nonviolent felony by someone under 18 year old
  • Class A or B for drugs

First Time Offenders

Additionally, first time offenders can take advantage of what is know as the "First Offenders Act". To qualify for this, the defendant has to:

  • Plead guilty or no contest
  • Get placed on probation for at least one year
  • Complete the requirements of probation

The conviction also must not be:

  • A crime that would require being registered as a sex offender
  • Public Sexual Indecency
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Bestiality
  • A serious violent felony

If the defendant qualifies for and successfully completes the requirements of the first offender act, the court will discharge and seal the case. The defendant will be considered as never being convicted of the crime except for the purposes of criminal history and sentencing in a subsequent case and impeachment as a witness. The defendant will be able to legally and truthfully say that they were never convicted of the crime.

Contact Wesley Rhodes, Attorney At Law, For Help With Your Case

You can easily reach my Little Rock firm online or at 501-301-4591. Time is critical when you have been accused of committing a crime. Get attentive legal representation to help you defend against charges or determine your eligibility to have your record sealed.