This statute is a unique expungement statute that only applies to drug related charges that allows you to get an expungement even if you go to a jury or bench trial and lose. This statute was in effect from 2005 to 2014. However, if you were sentenced under this statute you may still qualify for an expungement under. You may qualify to be sentenced under this statute if the criminal charges you are currently facing occurred prior to 2014.
This is one of the few charges that allows you to expunge charges after a trial.
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:
How do I know if can expunge my charges under this statute?
You must have been sentenced under this statute at the time of your conviction (A.C.A 5-64-413). You or your lawyer need to check your court paperwork. These provisions have essentially been recodified as part of Act 1460 of 2013 in ACA §§16-90-1406–1407, effective January 1, 2014.
Which Arkansas drug charges may be expunged under this statute?
This statute was amended in 2011 to provide that all first time drug possession offenders are eligible for expungement. The law used to say that Schedule I drug possessors (heroin and lots of others ) were ineligible. That restriction was removed by Act 570 of 2011. Unfortunately drug delivery offenders are ineligible. See Shelton v. State, 44 Ark. App. 156, 870 S.W.2d 398 (1994). A person cannot have previous conviction under Controlled Substances Act or other state or federal controlled substances law.
Who decides whether or not I can get my charges expunged under this statute?
Whether or not you can be sentenced under this statute is entirely up to the judge. Where person pleads guilty OR is found guilty, the court MAY, without entering a judgment of guilt and with consent of the offender (you), defer further proceedings. The court will then place the offender on a probation for a period of not less than one (1) year with conditions. Unlike the First Offender Act it applies to bench and jury trials. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions the Court SHALL discharge the 7 offender and dismiss the proceedings against him/her.
Do I even need to apply for an expungement or do the charges just go away?
You still need to apply for an expungement. The statute says that upon successful completion of the probation the person may apply for sealing and sequestration of their record pursuant to the Uniform Expungement Act.
How many times can I get an expungement under this statute?
An offender may only get one (1) discharge and dismissal under this statute.
Can a conviction expunged under statute be used against me later?
Yes, for habitual offender status and for enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses. For purposes of this section OR for purposes of disqualification or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime including additional penalties imposed for second or subsequent conviction under Ark. Code Ann. §5-64-408 (enhanced sentences for second or subsequent drug offenders).
What If I Don’t Qualify to Expunge or Seal My Arkansas Criminal Charges Under the Community Corrections and Punishment Act?
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: