There are two groups of offenders who qualify for expungement under this Act:
(1) those undergoing a current drug court program as the Court supervising such offenders can order expungement of the offenses to which the offender pleaded to in that particular court; and
(2) those individuals, who in addition to the above, have other convictions in other courts they wish to have expunged.
Before you read this blog, you should read these two other blogs first IF you are looking to expunge a misdemeanor or a felony in Arkansas, because they are retroactive:
In order to get into drug court your attorney has to convince the prosecutor and the judge to let you in.
Offenders who complete a current drug court program regarding offenses which they pleaded to may seek an expungement which may be granted if the court finds that the offender successfully completed the program, received aftercare programming, the prosecuting attorney recommends expungement, and the drug court believes that expungement is appropriate.
What if my county does not have a drug court program, may I plead into another county’s drug court?
Yes. Offenders seeking expungement of convictions from other courts as part of the Drug Court Program must fall within the target group as is set forth in the Community Punishment and Corrections Act. They must have beeen convicted in another court, and the Drug Court Judge MUST receive the concurrence of the other Arkansas court where the conviction arose. Notwithstanding the fact that the offender may establish eligibility as being a member in the target group, those who were convicted of residential or commercial burglary, breaking or entering, or DWI 4th and subsequent offenses are not eligible to have such convictions expunged.
Expungement procedure for offenses disposed of in drug court is same as in Uniform Expungement Act unless the Drug Court Judge provides otherwise. The expungement is discretionary (up to the judge).
After my charges are expunged, do I get my gun rights back?
Upon expungement of drug court charges, your firearm possession rights are restored per Act 1491 of 2009.
Which Charges do they allow to plead into drug court?
Any offense that falls within the “Target group.” The “target group” means a group of offenders and offenses determined to be, but not limited to, theft, theft by receiving, hot checks, residential burglary, commercial burglary, failure to appear, fraudulent use of credit cards, criminal mischief, breaking or entering, drug paraphernalia, driving while intoxicated, fourth or subsequent offense, all other Class C or Class D felonies that are not either violent or sexual and that meet the eligibility criteria determined by the General Assembly to have significant impact on the use of correctional resources, Class A and Class B controlled substance felonies, and all other unclassified felonies for which the prescribed limitations on a sentence do not exceed the prescribed limitations for a Class C felony and that are not either violent or sexual. Offenders committing solicitation, attempt, or conspiracy of the offenses listed are also included in the group.
“Violent or sexual” includes all offenses against the person codified in § 5-10-101 et seq., § 5-11-101 et seq., § 5-12-101 et seq., § 5-13-201 et seq., § 5-13-301 et seq., and § 5-14-101 et seq., and any offense containing as an element of the offense the use of physical force, the threatened use of serious physical force, the infliction of physical harm, or the creation of a substantial risk of serious physical harm. The “target group” includes any misdemeanor conviction except a misdemeanor conviction for which the offender is required to register as a sex offender or a misdemeanor conviction for driving while intoxicated.
How Do I Expunge My Charges After I Complete Drug Court?
Every drug court that I’m familiar with will file the expungement paperwork for you.
What If I Don’t Qualify to Expunge or Seal My Arkansas Criminal Charges Under the Arkansas Drug Court Expungement Statutes?
Read one of our other blogs on expunging criminal charges under a different statute. Or call one of our Fayetteville, Fort Smith, or Van Buren Arkansas Criminal Defense Attorneys at (479) 782-1125 for a free consultation.
I’ve written blogs on the two most common statutes used to expunge misdemeanors and felonies in Arkansas are:
The rest of the Arkansas expungement statutes are much rarer: