Overview Description

Records relating to a conviction for prostitution pursuant to section 5-70-102 can be sealed by the court if the conviction was obtained as a result of the petitioner's having been a victim of human trafficking. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1412(b)(1).

Ineligible Category or Citation

There is no statutory language regarding ineligible offenses.

Procedure General

The uniform petition must be filed in court. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1412(b). For the specific procedure, see Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1401 et seq.

The court shall grant the petition if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the petitioner was convicted of prostitution pursuant to section 5-70-102, and the conviction was obtained as a result of the petitioner's having been a victim of human trafficking. Official documentation by a government agency verifying that the petitioner was a victim of human trafficking at the time of the conviction must create a presumption that the conviction was obtained as a result of having been a victim of human trafficking. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-90-1412(c), (e).

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

The petitioner's name shall be redacted by the court from all listed records and files. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1412(d).

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 at any time.

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