You must get the the court to sentence you under the “Misdemeanor Traffic Case Postponement” statute or change the charge to something that won’t increase your insurance or add points to your license. See: Ark. Code Ann. §5-4-321. If the court didn’t or won’t sentence you under this statute, then you can always seal it using another statute, but the record will be on your record for at least 90 days if you go that route.
That statute cannot be used in cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug. Basically, any other traffic offense other than DWI and arguably underage DUI. The only way to get a DWI or DUI off your record is to go trial and get a not guilty. You can expunge a DWI five years after the punishment is over, and a DUI immediately after the punishment.
Who decides whether or not I can keep it off my record?
The judge. The statute says that they MAY (doesn’t have to) postpone a judgment for not more than one (1) year. The court could place the offender on probation (supervised or unsupervised). The offender would remain in a probationary status until a judgment is entered. In certain situations the court is authorized to quickly enter judgment or postpone judgment for more than one (1) year.
Can I keep a traffic ticket off my record if I have a Commercial Driver’s License?
No. If you can’t beat the ticket then you might be able to get the prosecutor to change it to a different charge that won’t give you points to your license OR make your insurance costs increase. A charge such as improper parking may be kept off your record, if you can get the prosecutor to amend your charges to that statute.
Don’t believe me? Check out § 27-23-128. “No circuit or district court judge may utilize § 5-4-321, § 16-90-115, § 16-90-904, §§ 16-93-301 — 16-93-303, § 16-93-314, or § 27-50-701 or any other program to defer imposition of sentence or enter the person into a diversion program in instances in which the person holds a commercial driver license or a commercial learner’s permit and is charged with violating any state or local traffic law other than a parking violation.”
Will the prosecutor or judge agree to keep the ticket off my record or reduce my charges?
That depends on the judge and the prosecutor. Things they take into consideration:
- Your driving history (particularly the last three years).
- The seriousness of the offense. Is this a 5 over or a 30 over speeding ticket? It makes a difference.
- If you were polite the police officer who pulled you over.
- If you have a CDL. Some prosecutors and judges will NOT work with you if you have Commercial Driver’s License.
I generally know which ones in Benton County, Washington County, Crawford County, Sebastian County, Scott County, Franklin County, Johnson County, and Carroll County are willing to work with you.
If you have questions about a specific traffic ticket in Arkansas, call one of our criminal defense attorneys at 479-782-1125. Our attorneys are based in Fort Smith and Fayetteville, but defend cases all along I-40.
I’ve written blogs on the two most common statutes used to expunge misdemeanors and felonies in Arkansas and they are:
The rest of the Arkansas expungement statutes are much rarer: