Arkansas Court Records
Arkansas Arrest Records
According to A.C.A. § 12-12-1503 (2)(A), an arrest record refers to documents pertaining to felony arrest information in which the outcome of the arrest (conviction, acquittal, deferral, or suspension). Arkansas arrest records do not include misdemeanor arrest information, felony arrest information where the arrestee was acquitted, or the charges were dismissed or not prosecuted entered into the central repository, and felony arrest information where five years have elapsed from the date of the felony arrest.
The Arkansas Crime Information Centre uses the incident-based reporting method within the Arkansas Uniform Crime Reporting (U.C.R.) Program to report arrest information provided by law enforcement agencies in the state for both Group A and Group B offenses. In 2021, Arkansas recorded around 53,267 Group A arrests, broken down into 17,397 crimes against persons, 21,683 crimes against society, and 9,684 crimes against properties. The total number of Group B arrests for the year was around 52,392 persons. By gender, 37,730 males and 15,537 females were arrested in 2021.
In 2022, there were 51,090 arrests, where 17,068 were arrested for crimes against persons and 15,059 crimes against property offenses. Group B arrestees added up to a total of 51,869.
Arrest reports are essential as they provide an official account of why the arrestee was detained. They also contain details of the offense and the manner in which the subject was apprehended.
Are Arrest Records Public in Arkansas?
Yes. In Arkansas, the state police maintain the criminal records of individuals arrested and convicted of crimes. Under A.C.A. § 12-12-1501 et seq, the Arkansas State Police provides all conviction information and felony arrest records to any person who sends in a request and pays the required fee without requiring written consent of the subject of the request A.C.A. § 12-12-1506 (d).
Furthermore, as a public entity, the Arkansas State Police is mandated under the state's Freedom of Information Act to provide these records upon request by eligible persons.
If someone requests information about their criminal arrest history, they may be able to access any pending felony arrests in Arkansas within the last five years (if the person has not yet gone to trial). The requestor may also receive information about individuals who are required to register as sex offenders and any other information that is allowed under the FOIA A.C.A. § 25-19-101 et seq.
However, according to A.C.A. § 12-12-1504, arrest records that are not publicly available include:
- Arrests that ended in the case being dismissed, not prosecuted, or where the subject was found not guilty
- Arrest records that are already sealed or expunged
- Criminal history and arrest information that has not been processed
- Any other record withheld from public disclosure by a court injunction under the state's FOIA or other state laws
- Arrest records of juveniles (Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq). Some exceptions include:
- If the juvenile were tried as an adult, their arrest record would be public
- If a written order from the juvenile division of the circuit court authorizes the release
- If the record is necessary to obtain services for the minor or ensure school or public safety
- If it is necessary
- If there is a written order by the circuit court authorizing the record's release
What is Included in Arkansas Arrest Records?
An Arkansas arrest record is obtainable via a person's criminal history search. The information in an arrest record depends on the agency where one is searching and the type or category of search being performed. Generally, however, an Arkansas felony arrest record reveals:
- First, middle, and last names of the arrestee, including all aliases
- Sex of the individual
- Race of the individual
- Date of birth
- Arrest history includes dates of all previous arrests, arresting agencies in each instance, offense class and type, and arrest charges.
Find Public Arrest Records in Arkansas
In line with state laws that allow for requesting criminal history and arrest information, Arkansas provides multiple avenues for individuals to find these records at both the state and county levels.
- Arkansas Criminal History (ARCH). The ARCH system is the state's official Online Criminal Background Check System, which the Arkansas State Police provides. To find a public arrest record using the ARCH system, one must have the signed written consent of the subject of the record.
Any person using the ARCH system must note that each search attracts a non-refundable charge of $24.00 and an additional $24.oo on every additional search result, payable via debit or credit cards only, which must be paid even if the search did not yield any results. ARCH results cannot be requested in person or through the mail as the system only performs online searches and provides uncertified copies of results.
- Visiting the CourtsConnect website: The Arkansas CourtConnect website allows searchers to view active arrest records and warrants in the state. One may visit their administrative office or send an electronic request, which includes the type of search - person name, judgments, or display case information.
- Online Criminal Background Check System: An individual must register and be an authorized entity to use this service. The various searches available under the Arkansas Online Criminal Background Check include
- A name-based criminal background check, available to searchers with the signed written consent of the subject of the record; Each Arkansas State name-based check request costs $22.00 per search ($11.00 for volunteers).
- A National/FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check based on a person's fingerprints that reports the subject's nationwide criminal history information. This service is only available to individuals who have obtained the signed written consent of the subject of the record. They must have the legal authority under state or federal law to perform a fingerprint-based check. Each search costs $14.25 or $12.25 for volunteers.
Inquirers must have an account with the Information Network of Arkansas (INA) to access these services. However, persons without an INA account may still mail in their requests. Each mail-in request costs $25.
- The Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC): The Arkansas Crime Information Center is a state government agency that provides a computerized information system that administers Arkansas's central repository of criminal history records, among other things. To obtain criminal and arrest information, visit their website or forward inquiries to:
322 South Main Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 682-2222
One may need to issue a subpoena to the custodial agency through the courts to access non-public arrest records. More information on how to go about this process may be obtained from the custodial agency.
How to Lookup Arrest Records Online in Arkansas
Arkansas arrest records are viewable as part of a person's comprehensive criminal information. To look up one's arrest records online, inquirers may petition any criminal information or background check agencies. For instance, using the Arkansas CourtConnect website, a person may inspect active arrest records and warrants in the state. Some of these agencies require the subject's signed consent.
One may also contact the sheriff or other law enforcement agency in the county where they suspect the person was arrested and make the inquiry.
Alternatively, one may scour for criminal arrest information from third-party websites.
How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Arkansas
In Arkansas, there is no all-encompassing rule on the number of years an arrest record may remain on a person's file. For instance, juvenile records of felony violence must be kept for ten years after the last guilty plea, after which they may be destroyed (A.C.A 9-27-309. (1)(A)). Also, suppose a person committed a crime as a minor. In that case, the court will destroy all their juvenile records upon their twenty-first birthday.
However, an adult arrest that led to a conviction will stay on public record until it is either sealed or expunged.
Expunge an Arrest Record in Arkansas
Ordinarily, to expunge a record means to destroy or seal it so it is unavailable in the public repository. In Arkansas, expungement has to do with sealing, rather than destruction of criminal records, so that they become confidential and publicly unavailable.
There are two ways a person's arrest and criminal records may be expunged in Arkansas. The first is through a governor's pardon, and the second is by applying for expungement.
Per A.C.A. 16-90-1409, a person may petition a district court or circuit court to seal a record of a prior arrest if the prosecuting attorney has not filed charges within one year from the date of the arrest. Other expungement requirements include:
- The petitioner must file an expungement request in the county where they were arrested.
- To qualify for expungement, they must have pleaded guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to the offense.
- The subject must have been sentenced under a statute that allows for expungement and must have completed all the terms and conditions of their probation. Also, they cannot have had prior felony convictions.
- Sexual offenders whose victims were under 18 years are ineligible to have the offense expunged.
Some offenses that qualify for expungement include:
- Drug Court Probation: if the petitioner has completed a drug court program and received aftercare programming, they may be eligible for an expungement. In addition, the judge must have received a recommendation from the prosecuting attorney for expungement and dismissal of the case and must feel that it is appropriate to grant a petition. A.C.A. § 16-98-303(g).
- Minor, Non-violent Felony Offenders: Suppose an individual was convicted of a non-violent felony committed while a minor. In that case, they may have their record expunged if the court determines that it is in the best interest of the petitioner and the state. A.C.A. §16-90-602
- Misdemeanor: A person convicted of a misdemeanor offense may have their record expunged unless clear and convincing evidence is presented to the court stating otherwise A.C.A. §16-90-904. However, in cases of class A felonies like third-degree battery, indecent exposure, public sexual indecency, fourth-degree sexual assault, third-degree domestic battering, and D.U.I., the records may be expunged after five years have passed since the completion of the person's sentence.
- Nolle Prossed, Dismissed, or Acquitted: Individuals whose charges were dropped or dismissed or who were acquitted at trial are eligible to have their case records expunged. A.C.A. § 16-90-906
- Probation - Possession of a Controlled Substance: If an individual pleads guilty to possessing a controlled substance, they may be granted probation for at least one year. Where they complete the probation terms and conditions, the court will dismiss the charges against them. This doesn't apply if the individual has previously pled guilty or was found guilty of a drug-related offense.
- Probation - First-Time Offenders: If a defendant pleads guilty or no contest, the court may place the defendant on probation for at least one year. The person must have been sentenced under the act and can only use this act (A.C.A. §§ 16-93-301 et. seq.) once. After completing the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall dismiss the case and delete the record. A.C.A. § 16-93-303. This does not apply if the person received a fine over $3,500 or was sentenced to prison or a regional correctional facility.
- Probation or Jail Sentence: Upon successful completion of probation, commitment to the Department of Correction with judicial transfer to the Community Corrections, or a commitment to a county jail for one of the offenses targeted for community correction placement, the court may direct that the record of the offender be expunged. A.C.A. §16-93-1207. This does not apply if one was convicted of a capital offense, murder, rape, kidnapping, or aggravated robbery. If the plaintiff's conviction occurred before 1993, they must have been specifically sentenced under the act to be eligible.
Upon confirming eligibility for expungement, the subject should visit the circuit or district court of the county where the crime was committed and file a petition for dismissal. The case prosecutor and arresting agency will each receive copies. Opponents have 30 days to file a notice of opposition. If no one does, the court may grant the petition without a hearing. But if notice of opposition is filed, the court will set a hearing date. If the judge decides that the person's record should be sealed, that judge will sign the order. The signed order must be filed with the court clerk.
The Arkansas Crime Information Center may still access one's sealed records. Also, a prosecuting attorney may request to view sealed records if the person is being prosecuted for another crime. If one is convicted of a crime after their records have been sealed, the judge may request to view them.
Post-expungement, the court clerk will remove all documents relating to that case and place them in a file in a separate and confidential holding area within the clerk's office. Any electronic records must also be sealed.
Under A.C.A. §16-90-902 et seq, expunged records restore all rights and privileges and do not affect civil liberties or rights unless specified by law. After sealing an individual's records, their conduct is legally deemed not to have occurred, and they may claim that no such records exist.
How Do I Find Recent Arrests in Arkansas?
Depending on the agency concerned, recent arrests may go as far back as days, weeks, or, at most, a couple of months. Inquirers may find recent arrests at the county sheriff's office at the arrest location or via statewide resources like the Arkansas Department of Correction.
- County Sheriff's Office: Most law enforcement agencies in Arkansas have inmate rosters where individuals can find recent arrests using parameters like name, arrest date, or ID number. By entering the proper search parameters, users can expect to view recent arrestees and their arrest information, such as a mugshot, name, race, sex, date of birth, arrest date, and arresting agency.
- Arkansas Department of Correction: Requesters may visit the Arkansas Department of Correction Inmate Search website and provide the subject's ADC number, full name, county of arrest, facility, age, race, and offense category to determine if the person is held in any of the state's correctional facilities.
Are Arkansas Arrest Records Free?
No, arrest records in Arkansas are not generally free. Most government agencies responsible for arrest records in Arkansas will charge the searcher a fee for finding and inspecting these records, even if the search yields no results. An example is the Arkansas Criminal History Search (ARCH).
There are other means for searchers to inspect arrest and criminal records for free in Arkansas. Examples include the CourtsConnect, local law enforcement inmate search tools, etc. However, even in cases where the searcher pays nothing to find arrest records, they must pay the applicable copying fees if they want to receive copies of these records.