Expungement of convictions is a type of post-conviction relief that can be a very useful way to mitigate long lasting harm from a criminal conviction. An expungement in Oklahoma allows for an individual to state that a criminal conviction quite literally never occurred. If you successfully receive an expungement, the files containing information relating to your conviction will be sealed and you will not be required to disclose your conviction in any future interview or application. The language of the statute is clear: post an expungement, an individual “may state that no such action has ever occurred.”
In order to receive an expungement, the seeking individual must show one of two things to the court. The court must be convinced that either that the harm to the privacy of the convicted person or the unwarranted adverse consequences to the convicted person outweigh the public interest in retaining the record. Lots of factors may be considered by the court including character of the convicted person, good behavior or success post-conviction, and the severity of the underlying conviction. Generally, the more serious the nature of the conviction, the less likely the court will be willing to grant an expungement.
For additional information, see OK ST T. 22 § 18-9.