The consequences of an arrest, even if the charges are dropped, can haunt a person for the rest of their life. It can impact employment opportunities, the ability to get a loan, and housing qualification. Expungement makes a new beginning possible by sealing the record of the arrest from public view, thus eliminating the negative consequences of the arrest.

Expungement Explained

In Arkansas, an expungement does not completely, physically destroy a criminal record, rather it is sealed or closed, kept confidential, so that the public is not able to view it or even know it exists. Also called a Petition and Order to Seal, expungement can make it easier for people who meet specific eligibility requirements to get a fresh start in life without their criminal record hanging over their head, holding them back.

Expungement Eligibility

Arkansas law allows some records to be sealed according to specific circumstances. For instance, a first-time offender who has been charged with a controlled substance offense or driving offense can have their record expunged as long as they have fully completed their probation. Minors (under 18) who committed non-violent felonies may also be eligible as are minors who have been pardoned.

Other instances where an expungement may be granted include a person who was arrested but never charged, a person whose charges were acquitted, dismissed, or declared nolle prosequi. In some cases, a person who was pardoned may be able to have their records expunged, but there are some types of offenses that never qualify.

Records that cannot be Expunged

There are certain records that cannot be sealed. A person is not eligible for expungement if they:

  • Have two or more felony convictions
  • Have a case that is still open
  • Have committed acts such as sexual battery, prostitution, child molestation, and theft.
  • Have had other records expunged
  • Have a case that is still open
  • Have committed a serious traffic offense such as fleeing the scene of an accident, vehicular homicide, or DUI/DWI
  • Have arrests that are still pending
  • Have been convicted of a capital offense (includes first degree rape, first degree and second degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, giving minors controlled substances)
  • Have not yet paid all fines associated with the arrest

When you need a Fayetteville & Bentonville expungement attorney call McCurdy Pope Law and Mediation. Our team brings competence, knowledge, and experience to the table, but more than that, we care. Call or email to schedule your appointment for a free consultation. Once you’ve scheduled your appointment, visit our intake page and provide some information on your case so that we can be more prepared when we meet. Life isn’t always easy, but it helps having someone on your side that you can trust. We’re here; we care.

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