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Can you have your criminal record expunged?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2022 | Expungements, Record Sealings & Pardons

If you have been convicted of a crime in Arkansas, you may wonder if you can have it removed. The legal process to do this is called expungement. 

With an expungement, your records aren’t destroyed. Instead, they are sealed and considered confidential from that point. The question is – can you have your criminal record expunged? This isn’t something that’s offered for all people or all crimes. Learn more about it here. 

How can criminal records be expunged?

There are certain criteria that must be met to have your records eligible for expungement. These include:

  • You plead no contest or guilty to the charge
  • You were sentenced under a statute that allows expungement
  • You completed all conditions and terms of your probation
  • You have no prior felony convictions

Also, if you are convicted as a sexual offender and your victim was under the age of 18, you will not be eligible for expungement. 

How do you file to have your criminal record expunged?

If you meet the criteria above and are eligible for expungement, it’s necessary to file a petition to seal your records. It’s required that the Petition and Order to Seal be filed with the district or circuit court of the county where the crime you were convicted of occurred. 

Once the petition is filed, a copy is sent to the arresting agency and prosecutor. Anyone against the expungement of your record has 30 days to file a notice of opposition and include an explanation of why your record should not be sealed. If there is opposition, you must go before a judge who will decide if your record should be sealed. 

Do you have the legal option to have your criminal record expunged?

There are many factors that come into play when it comes to having your record sealed. Knowing your legal options will help you know if this is a possibility for you.