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DUI Expungement in Arkansas

To “expunge” a conviction means to set it aside and not include it in the convicted individual’s record, making it as though the conviction never occurred in the first place.

It is possible to have a DUI expunged in Arkansas in certain circumstances as of the most recent legislative session of the Arkansas Legislature.  Act 626, which goes into effect on August 1st, 2011, prescribes the circumstances under which a DUI conviction may be expunged.  Convicts in Arkansas may petition the court to have a DUI charge expunged regardless of if the charge is a misdemeanor or felony.  This contrasts with other states, which allow a conviction to be expunged based on its classification as a misdemeanor as opposed to a more serious felony charge.  When faced with such a petition to expunge, the court may not deny it unless there is clear and convincing evidence that it should not be allowed.  In addition, convicts must wait a period of five years following the end of their sentence to begin to petition process.

The process of having a conviction expunged is not automatic and requires hiring a lawyer and filing out the proper forms and applications.  Among the requirements for drug and alcohol convictions to be expunged is for the defendant to submit to a chemical dependency evaluation.  Convicts should also collect letters of recommendation from family and employers in order to demonstrate their good behavior, moral character, and overall value to society.  While this process can be long and potentially expensive, it can also provide huge dividends.  It can be extremely beneficial to expunge your record; for example, potential employers will not be put on notice of the offense if your record is expunged.

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