If you have ever been arrested on misdemeanor charges in the state of Arkansas, there is a way to keep those charges from following you around for the rest of your life through a process known as expungement. While the law does not require the physical destruction of the records if you have them expunged, the incident never occurred under the eyes of the law. As a result, you may legally say an arrest or conviction didn’t happen. The process can be completed by filling out a uniform petition form through the Arkansas Crime Information Center.
Complete your sentence. Under Arkansas law, you must have finished serving your jail time and probation and paid any relevant fines before you can apply to have a record expunged.
Read More: How to Get a Misdemeanor Charge Off Your Record
Make sure you qualify to have your misdemeanors expunged. People who are eligible for an expungement under Arkansas law include those that have been pardoned unless the crime is a sex offense, against a minor, or resulted in death or serious injuries; those who have been pardoned for a crime that happened while they were under the age of 16; non-violent drug offenders who do not have previous convictions involving selling or giving drugs to minors; and those without a previous felony conviction. Crimes can also be expunged after arrests if the charges were later dropped or the person was found not guilty at trial.
Visit the Arkansas Crime Information Center’s website (www.acic.org) to download a standard petition to expunge and seal form. The petition can be found by clicking the “Forms” tab at the top of the page, and then by clicking the “Courts-Petitions to Seal or Expunge” link on that page. Click on the “Act 532 of 1993 Petition to Expunge” link to download the form.
Print a copy of the form and fill it out. You will need to include your case number, information about your arrest and conviction such as the dates they occurred, and the offenses you were charged with, including the relevant sections of Arkansas code.
File the form with the court where your case was handled. The court will order the record expunged if it determines that you have met all the requirements and that you have been rehabilitated. .
After a record has been expunged, the record is not destroyed and may still be viewed by you or your attorney, a criminal justice agency (as long as it is for the purpose employment with that agency), a court after you have been found guilty of another crime, a prosecutor in a subsequent case, and the Arkansas Crime Information Center.
Shane Stegmiller has been a reporter since 1998. He has been published in "The Marion Star" and has written for legislative news services such as Capitolwire. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.