What is the definition of expungement?

Does it mean completely gone off your record if a cop pulls you over and runs your name you’ll come up clean?

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Criminal Law, Arkansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

"Expungement" is the process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges.  Under Ark. Code Ann. §60-90-902, the record is deemed as a matter of law never to have occurred, and the individual may state that no such conduct ever occurred and that no such records exist.  Expungement basically means clearing the record.  Ark. Code Ann. §60-90-901 provides that unless otherwise provided, "expunge" shall not mean the physical destruction of any records.

The records that can be expunged are those where there has been no guilty verdict; all arrest records, petitions, orders, docket sheets, and any other documents relating to the case may be expunged. Ark. Code Ann. §60-90-906.

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