In Arkansas there are several forms of relief for those individuals with a criminal record. Having a record expunged means that the record shall be sealed, sequestered and treated as confidential. A person who has their record expunged shall have all privileges and rights restored, shall be completely exonerated, and the record which has been expunged shall not affect his/her civil rights or liberties. Upon the entry of the uniform order to seal records of an individual, it shall be deemed as a matter of law never to have occurred, and he or she may state that no such conduct has ever occurred and that no such records exist.
Those eligible to have their records sealed are:
- Any person whose charges are dismissed
- Any person found not guilty after trial
- A first time, non-violent offender sentenced to a differed sentence and upon successful completion of probation
- A person who completes probation or a commitment to the Department of Corrections with judicial transfer to the Department of Community Corrections and has no more than one prior, non-serious felony
- A person convicted of a non-violent felony committed while under the age of 18
- A person who has been granted a pardon ( with some exceptions)
A pardon in the state of Arkansas is granted by the Governor. A pardon removes conviction related barriers to licensing, employment and restores civil rights. The Governor may separately restore firearm privileges upon recommendation of the chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction in which the convicted person resides. To restore these rights the offense must have occurred more than eight years prior and must not have involved the use of a weapon. If a pardon is granted, the record is automatically expunged.