This is the next post in our series on the sealing (formerly known as “expungement”) of Arkansas criminal records. Our last article discussed when one may be eligible to seal their record. It is important to understand that not all past convictions are eligible for this process. If you have questions about the ability to clear your history then it is suggested that you speak with an attorney. In this article we will discuss the benefits of completing this process. If you require assistance then contact our Little Rock lawyers today.
Sealing one’s record can greatly improve the chances of getting their life back on track. Under Arkansas law one can legally state that they have not been arrested for, or convicted of, a crime. This can improve a person’s chances of gaining employment. Many employers perform background checks as part of their hiring process. For understandable reasons, such employers are unlikely to hire someone with a checkered past. There are several reasons for this. First, employers may face potential liability if they hire someone who has past arrests or convictions. Second, whether justifiable or not, many companies will have reservations about the moral character of someone who has a criminal history. Third, many employers will worry about how someone with an arrest history may impact the “culture” of their work environment. By preventing employers from knowing about your history you can alleviate the chances that you will be disqualified from employment.
It is important to understand that there are several things which sealing your record will not do. First, if you have been convicted of a felony or domestic violence then clearing your history does not restore your right to bear a firearm. You will still be prohibited from possessing a gun under both state law and 18 USC 922(g). Second, potential employers will still be able to access your record if you are applying for employment that is related to law enforcement, day care, nursing homes, or teaching. Third, sealed prior convictions can still be used against you in any future prosecution. Your prior history, therefore, will still be visible to prosecutors, courts, law enforcement entities, etc. We list these points to show that, while sealing your record has many benefits, it does not make it as if the crime or arrest never occurred.
If you have questions about the benefits of sealing your Arkansas record then contact our Little Rock office today to speak with an attorney. While sealing your history does not completely solve all of your potential problems, there is little to no downside in completing the process. Our lawyers regularly assist individuals with clearing their past and we are ready to assist you. Contact us today. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.