If you have been convicted of a crime, chances are you have been frustrated by how that mistake can follow you throughout your life. Criminal records can prevent a person from obtaining employment, acquiring desired housing, receiving a loan, and other unforeseen factors. However, if your conviction was in Arkansas you may be able to have your record expunged. When you have a conviction expunged from your record, it means that the law treats the charge as if it never happened. You are legally allowed to state that you have no convictions on your record on all official documents. Obtaining an expungement can make a significant difference when applying for work. Our attorneys are familiar with expungement requirements and can assist you in clearing your record. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
Arkansas lawyers helping clients determine if they are eligible to have their criminal record expunged
Not everyone is eligible to have their Arkansas criminal record expunged. If you are convicted of a capital felony or a sex crime, then your conviction will be a permanent part of your record. However, there are many other circumstances in which the court may allow you to erase your criminal record. Examples of reasons you may have grounds to ask for an expungement include:
- If you have received an official pardon from the Governor
- If you are a first time offender who pled guilty or no contest
- If your crime did not involve selling drugs to a minor
- If you have met all requirements of the court
- If you are a minor convicted of a non-violent felony
If you believe you are eligible for an expungement, the first step is to file a petition to seal your records in the circuit or district court. Once you file your petition, a copy will be sent to the prosecutor and the arresting agency. If anyone objects to your record being sealed, they have 30 days to file an opposition with the court, with an explanation for why they do not want your record sealed. If no one objects, the court may grant the petition without a hearing. If a notice of opposition has been filed, the court will set a hearing with a judge, who will make a decision.
Trustworthy legal advocates ensuring your case is handled correctly
While anyone is allowed to file their own petition, most people without a legal background don’t know where to begin. When you file your petition, it is important that it is written with the correct language and filled out correctly. Filling the petition out incorrectly may result in your petition being denied or delayed. That is why hiring an experienced attorney to handle your expungement is often necessary. The legal team at Benca & Johnston will ensure that all of your paperwork is filed on time, that nothing delays the process, and will argue in your favor in the event your petition is opposed. We know being granted an expungement can significantly improve the opportunities you have available to you. You can trust us to make sure your petition is filed right. Contact our office today.