It is important to understand your rights when it comes to sealing your criminal record.
In 2013, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 1460, which allows criminal defendants convicted of a misdemeanor offense to petition the court to seal his or her conviction under certain circumstances. For instance, a defendant petitioning the court to seal a misdemeanor conviction must have first completed the terms and conditions of his or her probation. Additionally, the defendant must have paid all outstanding fines, court costs, and restitution, if any.
Depending upon the type of misdemeanor offense you were convicted of determines how long you have to wait before you can petition the court to seal your record. For example, if you were convicted of Domestic Battery in the Third Degree, you have to wait a longer period of time to file a petition to seal than if you had been convicted of Shoplifting.
In order to file a petition to seal a felony conviction under Act 1460, you must also have first completed the terms and conditions of your probation. Likewise, you have to make sure that all fines, court costs, and restitution, if any, are all paid off. It should be noted that there are certain felonies that cannot be sealed. In addition, the number of previous felony convictions you have on your record could affect your qualifications to have your record sealed.
If you do not qualify to file a petition under Act 1460, you may be able to file a petition to seal your record under Act 531 or Act 346, the First Offender’s Act. If you want your record sealed, it is important to contact an attorney to discuss the different laws and how you may be able to successfully petition the court to seal your conviction.
If you need guidance with filing a petition to seal your record, call Erin W. Lewis Law today for a free consultation.