Overview Description

A record of conviction for possession of a controlled substance pursuant to section 5-64-419, or a counterfeit substance pursuant to section 5-64-441, can be sealed by the court immediately upon the person's sentence completion, provided that he or she meets the criteria specified in this section. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1407.

Ineligible Category or Citation

There is no statutory language regarding ineligible offenses.

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.

Before filing a new petition, the petitioner must wait one year from the date that the order denying his or her previous petition was issued. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1413(a)(2).

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 immediately upon sentence completion.

(non-prod server)