Overview Description

Records relating to most misdemeanor convictions or violations can be sealed by the court after sentence completion, provided all fines, fees, and costs have been paid in full. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1405(a).

For offenses listed in section 16-90-1405(b)(1), the petition to seal cannot be filed until five years after sentence completion.

Ineligible Category or Citation

A person cannot file a petition to seal a record of his or her misdemeanors or violation for a traffic offenses, other than specified violations, that were committed while he or she held a commercial driver license. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1405(b)(5).

Procedure General

The uniform petition must be filed in the court in which the petitioner was convicted for the offense at issue. Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-1413(a). For the specific procedure, see Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-90-1401 et seq.

There is no limit to the number of times a person can file a petition to seal the record of a misdemeanor or violation, but the petitioner must wait 90 days from the date that the order denying the previous petition was issued, or one year from the date that the order denying the previous petition for offenses listed in section 16-90-1405(b)(1) was issued before filing a new petition. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1405(b).

Fees

There is no filing fee. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1419.

Effect

Upon entry of the uniform sealing order, the underlying conduct is deemed as a matter of law to never have occurred, and the person can state that the conduct did not occur and that a record does not exist. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1417(b).

Sealed records are not available for general access unless otherwise authorized by law. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-90-1413(h), 16-90-1416, 16-90-1417(b)(2).

An order to seal a record means to expunge, remove, requester, and treat as confidential the record in question. It does not include the physical destruction of a record of conviction unless specified. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1404(4).

The court clerk, prosecuting attorney, and arresting agency remove and sequester the listed records. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-90-1413(e)-(g).

Forms

Waiting Periods

The petition may be filed immediately after sentence completion, unless the offense is listed in section 16-90-1405(b)(1).

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