Denton & Zachary, PLLC

Expungement

Seal Your Criminal Record With the Help of a Little Rock Expungement Lawyer

There are many situations when someone is charged with a crime in Arizona and never commit another offense in the future. This may have happened when they were a juvenile or during a particularly difficult time in their life. Without expungement, these criminal charges can follow you around for life and make it impossible to live without a constant reminder of your past.

Expungement is a solution that allows you to seal your past criminal records and an experienced Little Rock expungement attorney can guide you through the process. This process will remove all records of your criminal act from public inspection to give you a clean record so you no longer have to worry about your past coming back to haunt you.

While expungement in Arkansas does not destroy the records, it does permanently seal the information from the public. This makes it confidential for public access but still allows some officials to access the information when necessary.

Having an expungement lawyer work to seal your criminal charges allows you to forget about your past criminal history. It is no longer an issue that is brought up during employment interviews or housing background checks. You will be able to confidently say you have a clean record without worrying that someone will find out about a criminal offense that happened to you many years ago.

Allow an Arkansas Expungement Lawyer to Help You Qualify for Record Expungement

Qualifying for expungement under the law in Arkansas requires the assistance of an expungement attorney to initiate your case. In order for your expungement to be considered, you must have pleaded guilty or no contest to the charges on your record. Without this pleading, you will be unable to qualify for filing for expungement in Arkansas. If you are uncertain of the plea that you made in your criminal case, an expungement lawyer can help locate the original court filings for the case so you can understand if you qualify for expungement.

In addition to a no contest or guilty plea, you must also have a charge of a crime that falls under the statute of limitations for crimes that are allowed for expungement. Your expungement attorney will help you determine if your criminal charges are in line with the statutes that allow for expungement and guide you on moving forward with the process for removing these criminal charges from your record.

As part of the conditions for having your record expunged by the court, you will have had to satisfy the sentencing terms of your criminal charges as well as the probation time period, if required. If you have a prior felony charge on your record, you do not qualify for expungement. You also do not qualify for an expungement if you are a sex offender that has criminal charges on your record against a minor.

An Arkansas expungement lawyer can help you recognize if your criminal charges qualify for expungement and advise on the necessary steps you need to take to facilitate the process to have your criminal record cleared of these offending charges.

Little Rock Expungement Lawyers That Assist in a Variety of Record Expungement Cases

These are a number of offenses for which Arkansas residents could have the criminal charges expunged under the law. An expungement lawyer can assist you in filing for expungement and allow you to understand if your criminal charge will qualify for record sealing.

There is a five-year waiting period for misdemeanor expungement requests. An expungement attorney can help you understand when you qualify for expungement and if your criminal charge can be sealed. These criminal offenses, in most instances, qualify for an expungement under the law in Arkansas.

  • Misdemeanor crimes: There are a variety of misdemeanor crimes that the court will accept for expungement. These often include, but are not limited to, DWI, third-degree domestic battery, fourth-degree sexual assault, public sexual indecency, indecent exposure, third-degree domestic battery, and Class A negligent homicide. An expungement lawyer can help you identify if your criminal charges qualify for expungement under the law.
  • Dropped, dismissed, or acquitted charges: When charged with a criminal offense, but your charges were dropped, dismissed or acquitted at trial, they still remain a part of your public record. Through expungement, you can have these charges removed from your permanent record. A Little Rock expungement lawyer can assist you in filing for the expungement of these charges.
  • Possession of a controlled substance: When you are convicted of a drug crime and have completed your sentencing and probation, you may qualify for expungement of your record. The law provides that if you pleaded guilty to the charges in your case and did not receive a conviction of another drug charge previously, expungement can occur in your case. However, there are some instances when expungement will be denied depending on the controlled substance used in the crime.
  • First offenders: Following the completion of your probation, if you plead guilty or no contest to your criminal charges in a first offense, you can have the charge removed from your record through expungement. Sexual crimes are not expungable when they involve a minor, even if they were the first offense. The first offender expungement also allows for nonviolent felony charges to be removed from your record, giving you the ability to have a fresh start in life. Discuss your case with an expungement attorney to determine if you qualify for sealing of your criminal records.

The law in Arkansas also allows for criminal offense expungement when probation has been completed as part of your sentencing requirement. An Arkansas expungement lawyer can advise you on whether your criminal offense qualifies for record expungement and will help fight to get your criminal charges sealed by the court.

There are some criminal offenses prevented from receiving an expungement. These include: murder, rape, kidnapping, selling a controlled substance to a minor, aggravated robbery and a capital offense. Most violent crimes are denied expungement, regardless of how long ago they occurred. You will also not qualify for expungement if you have a prior offense on your record that is a felony.

Little Rock Expunged Record Access

Expungement of your records in Arkansas does not destroy the documents related to your criminal charges, but it does seal them from access to the public. This information is kept confidential and removed from print and online access. However, there are some individuals that will continue to have access to your criminal records.

Certain job professions require access to criminal histories in order to approve employment. Job positions such as teachers, daycare workers, and nursing home caregivers may request access to sealed criminal records even after expungement has occurred in your case. Criminal justice employers are also privy to sealed records when hiring employees for their firm.

The Arkansas Crime Information Center is another establishment that can access your sealed criminal records. In addition, prosecuting lawyers may view sealed records if you were charged with another criminal offense after you have had them expunged. If convicted of another crime, the judge in your case may also request access to your expunged records.

Your expunged records never really disappear. While the majority of the public does not have access to the information, certain entities can request access as needed. During expungement, your criminal records move to a confidential area within the court clerk’s office. All electronic files are sealed, and your paper files are private until requested access is necessary.

Protecting Your Rights With Criminal Record Expungement

While expungement in Arkansas is not a perfect fix to removing criminal charges from your record, it can provide you peace of mind in many situations. Employment is easier to procure as your criminal charges are not public record and will not appear in a background check. There is no need to continually explain a criminal past to employers and your ability to gain a meaningful position in the workforce will drastically improve for you.

You will also find that housing is easier to secure from landlords that run background checks on their tenants. This can allow you to live in more desirable living accommodations. You can also further yourself through education as many universities will now consider you eligible for enrollment at their institution.

Expungement can significantly alter your life as it provides plenty of new opportunities and the ability to rid yourself of the criminal past that has plagued you for so long. A Little Rock expungement lawyer can help you file for expungement of your criminal records. They can access your criminal past and help you to understand which criminal offenses are sealable.

Most misdemeanor crimes are expungable from your record, and in some instances, felony charges can also be removed. Felony charges that were nonviolent qualify for expungement and an Arkansas expungement lawyer can help you through the process of sealing these records.

While removing a felony from your record will drastically improve your rights, you still will be prevented from owning a gun under any circumstance unless you have received a pardon after completion of your sentencing.

You will continue to retain your right to vote in Arkansas even with a felony charge once you have completed your sentencing and probation requirements. It is not necessary to have an expungement of your record to retain this right. You will need to show proof that you have completed all the requirements placed upon you during sentencing including payment of all fines, court costs, restitution, parole fees and probation costs. Your expungement attorney can advise you on the requirements necessary to vote in the state.

Filing for Record Expungement With the Guidance of an Arkansas Expungement Lawyer

When your criminal charge qualifies for expungement, you need an expungement attorney to help you file to seal your records. You will need to submit a Petition and Order to Seal form with the circuit or district court in the county where your criminal offense took place.

Submittal of this form goes to the county prosecutor and arresting officers. The public may request that your expungement does not get approved with a notice of opposition that must occur within 30 days of your petition filing. In this opposition order, they must explain why they are contesting your record sealing.

If you have no opposition to your expungement, the court will most likely grant it. When an opposition is voiced, a hearing date is set with the court that will go before a judge. The judge will make a decision on whether your expungement should occur, depending on the request and reasoning in the opposition order.

When your expungement is approved, the judge will sign the order form that you submitted at your initial request of expungement to seal your criminal records. You will need to file this order with the court clerk to seal your records for good.

A Little Rock expungement lawyer can file your Petition and Order to Seal form with the court, allowing you to follow proper filing procedures. If you have an order of opposition, your expungement lawyer will represent you in court and fight to get your records sealed regardless of the reasoning made by the other parties in your case.

Having your criminal record expunged can allow you to move forward with your life without having to worry about who will find out about your criminal past. It can give you a fresh start and remove a past history that is no longer a part of your life.

Discuss your criminal history with your Little Rock expungement lawyer so they can determine if you qualify for the expungement of your criminal records. They can handle all the proceedings in your case for expungement and help you meet the necessary requirements.

Reach Out to an Arkansas Expungement Lawyer to Discuss Your Case

When looking to eliminate criminal charges on your record, a Little Rock expungement lawyer can provide the assistance you need to seal these charges for good. The expungement attorneys at Denton & Zachary can help you file for the expungement of your past offenses and allow you to move forward with your life without a criminal past haunting you. Get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.