Overview Description

Records relating to a case dismissed after successful completion of a drug court program can be sealed by the court. The drug court program judge can also order the sealing and dismissal of offenses falling within a target group under section 16-93-1202(10)(A)(i). Ark. Code Ann. § 16-98-303(g).

Ineligible Category or Citation

Defendants charged with certain offenses are not eligible for participation in a drug court program, see Ark. Code Ann. § 16-98-303(c). Certain offenses within a target group under section 16-93-1202(10)(A)(i) are ineligible for sealing, see Ark. Code Ann. § 16-98-303(g)(2)(B).

Procedure General

Following completion of a drug court program, a request can be filed with the drug court program judge to dismiss and seal the record. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-98-303(g). Unless otherwise ordered by the drug court program judge, sealing is as described in section 16-90-1401 et seq.

Fees

There is no statutory language regarding fees.

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 listed records. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-90-1413(e)-(g).

Forms

Waiting Periods

The record can be sealed immediately upon dismissal,

(non-prod server)