Overview Description

Records relating to a case can be sealed by the court immediately upon an order of dismissal, a prosecuting attorney's decision not to file charges, or an acquittal, unless the acquittal was for reason of mental disease or defect. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-90-1410(a)(2)-(4).

Ineligible Category or Citation

There is no statutory language regarding ineligible offenses.

Procedure General

The petition must be filed in the court in which the order of dismissal or acquittal was entered. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1410(b). If the prosecuting attorney decided not to file charges, the a petition should be filed in the circuit court or district court in the county in which the arrest was made. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1409(b). For specific procedure, see Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-90-1401 et seq.

Before filing a new petition, petitioner must wait 1 year from the date of the order denying the previous petition before filing a new petition. 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 an order of dismissal, a prosecuting attorney's decision not to file charges, or an acquittal.

(non-prod server)