Since 2013, the state of Arkansas permits misdemeanor DWI and DUI convictions to be expunged, or “sealed”, after five years have passed. When your records are seals, they won’t be physically destroyed, but they will be treated as confidential. Once the record is sealed the offender can lawfully state the offense did not occur. All civil rights are restored except as otherwise specifically provided for by law.
What is the Difference Between a DWI and a DUI in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, a DWI is when a person older than 21 is pulled over with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08. A DUI refers to someone with a BAC between 0.02 and 0.08 who is younger 21. A DUI is eligible to be sealed after 60 days. However, if you received a DWI or DUI while in possession a Commercial Driver’s License or Permit, then your charge is ineligible for sealing.
How do you know if you’re eligible to have your Arkansas DWI sealed?
After five years from the date of conviction, you can file your petition to seal your misdemeanor DWI once you’ve completed your sentence, paid all court costs, paid all restitution if any, paid all driver’s license suspension reinstatement fees, and completed all other driver’s license reinstatement requirements.
How do I Seal a DWI in Arkansas?
After five years, a DWI does not automatically come off your record. You must file a formal petition to seal it. Before completing the Petition and Order to Seal forms, you will need details about your original case, such as your case number, date of your arrest or ticket, the date you pled, the name and statue code of your offenses, etc. These details should be included on your Judgment and Commitment Order. If you no longer have this document, the clerk’s office where you were sentenced should have a copy. If the state of Arkansas objects to your petition, then a hearing will be held, and a judge will decide whether to grant your petition.
You will need to swear under oath that you are not a registered sex offender and you are rehabilitated. Some courts may require a background check. Finally, you will need to send a notarized copy of your court filings to the prosecutor’s office and arresting agency of your original case.
Can I Represent Myself to Seal a DWI?
A citizen may be able to represent himself or herself in a Petition to Seal. Proceed with caution. If your petition to seal a misdemeanor DWI is denied, you must wait one year to file again. If you have an attorney, in most courts, the judge will not insist you go to court to seal your misdemeanor. We at Dearmore Law have extensive experience in assisting clients seal misdemeanor