Having a criminal conviction on your Arkansas record may complicate many aspects of your life. Depending on the details of the offense, your conviction may prevent you from, or make it harder for you to, find a job, find housing or own a handgun, among other possible repercussions. However, some criminal offenders are able to minimize the damage their criminal records cause them by having those records expunged.
Per the Arkansas Legal Services Partnership, if you are successful in pursuing an expungement, this typically results in your records becoming inaccessible to the public. Expungement means your records become sealed and remain confidential. It also gives you the right to say no if someone asks if you received a conviction for a particular offense.
When you lose gun rights
If your criminal conviction was for a felony or another type of offense that resulted in the loss of your right to own or possess a handgun, you may wonder if an expungement enables you to own and carry a gun again. It does not. However, there are other ways you may be able to get your gun rights back.
When you maintain gun rights
You may be able to get your gun rights back if the governor decides to restore them by issuing a pardon. Also, if your criminal sentence came under the First Time Offender Act, you should be able to carry a firearm even in the absence of a pardon.
The expungement process is complex, and what options you have are going to depend on certain variables, such as the type of conviction you have and whether you have any other criminal convictions in your history.