What is the Difference Between Sealing And Expunging A Record?

Many people use the terms “sealing” a record and “expunging” a record interchangeably.  However, there is a subtle difference between sealing and expunging a record. While attorneys and other legal professionals will know what you mean when you say you’ve had an Arkansas Criminal Record go through expunging, the proper term to use in Arkansas is the sealing process.

Sealing Morton LawWhat does this mean?

Getting your record expunged means that your criminal offense has been taken off of your criminal record, and you have no criminal history.  The state of Arkansas does not expunge criminal records, with the exception of certain juvenile offenses. Arkansas law only allows for a record to be sealed.  When your record is sealed, your convictions and/or arrests will not appear on a standard criminal history report because they are hidden from the general public.  However, certain organizations such as law enforcement, nursing boards, and education groups and boards will always see your convictions even if your record has been through the sealing process.  In other words, if after sealing your files you apply for a job with a private party that involves law enforcement, nursing/medicine, or working with children or in a school, your conviction will not appear in your criminal background check.

Expunging Bo Morton Law FirmYour convictions and/or arrests will appear on your criminal history if you try to get a job or license in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Medicine/nursing
  • In a school or daycare

However, that does not necessarily mean you will not be eligible for a job or licensure.  Some boards will grant waivers for convictions that have after expunging. 

Want more information about shoplifting then check out our expungement page.

Need Help?

For help with sealing details, call George B. Morton with Morton Law at 479-587-9988. Arkansas’s best Criminal Law Experts in the Fayetteville, Springdale, and Washington County areas.


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