Overview Description

Records relating to misdemeanor convictions defined in section 16-90-1405(b)(1) can be sealed by the court five years after sentence completion. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1405(b)(1). (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

Ineligible Category or Citation

A person cannot file a petition to seal a record of his or her misdemeanors or violation for traffic offenses, other than specified violations, that were committed while he or she was a holder of 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, but the petitioner must wait one year from the date that the order denying his or her previous petition for the offenses listed in section 16-90-1405(b)(1) was issued before filing a new petition. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1405(b).

Fees

The $50 fee for filing the uniform petition can be waived if the petitioner is indigent. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1419(a).

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 can be filed five years after sentence completion.

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