This is the next post in our series on sealing (formerly known as “expunging”) your Arkansas criminal record. Our last article discussed the benefits of sealing a prior record. It is important to understand that these benefits include making it easier to gain employment in certain fields as well as making it easier to find housing. There are certain rights, however, which are not restored when you seal your records. If you have questions about your options then it is best to speak with an attorney. In this article we will discuss the process of clearing your history. If you need assistance then contact our office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer.
The first step in clearing your history is to determine whether you are eligible to seal your records. If you are eligible to go forward with the process then your lawyer will gather the court certified copies of your prior convictions from the various Arkansas Courts. They will also acquire any necessary arrest records and other documentation. Once these documents have been acquired then counsel will file a Petition with the Court. This is a formal document which will discuss why your records should be sealed. The Court may schedule a hearing on the matter and the prosecutor will be given an opportunity to object. Your attorney will explain to the Court why your records should be sealed and, if the request is granted, the Judge will sign the Order.
The Order to Seal Records will be distributed to the appropriate state agencies shortly after the Judge has signed it. Once an agency has processed the Order then its ability to show your record to inquiring parties will be restricted in the ways that we discussed in our last article. If, somehow, a background check still shows your prior history then you may give the Order to Seal to the background check company. They will be required to correct their records. As we will discuss in our next article, it is suggested that you contact an attorney in order to help ensure that the process is handled properly.
If you need assistance with sealing your Arkansas record then contact our Little Rock office to speak with a lawyer. We have extensive experience in handling such matters and our firm is ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.