Receiving an expungement in Oklahoma is an effective way to mitigate long-lasting harm from a record of a criminal conviction, as it allows you — as outlined by statute — to “state that no such action has ever occurred.”
When you receive an expungement, the files containing the public information relating to your conviction will be sealed, and you will no longer be required to disclose your conviction on things like job, loan, or housing applications.
In order to receive an expungement, the individual must convince the court that either the harm to the privacy of the convicted person or the unwarranted adverse consequences to the convicted person outweighs the public interest in retaining the record. The court will consider several factors, including the character of the convicted person, good behavior or success post-conviction, and the severity of the underlying conviction.
Keep in mind that the more serious the nature of the conviction, the less likely the court will be willing to grant an expungement.
BENEFITS OF EXPUNGEMENT
The expungement of criminal records can offer many advantages in several areas of life. For example, your record will no longer appear in background checks, which can help your chances of employment with jobs that abstain from hiring people with documented criminal pasts. The expungement can also remove barriers to obtaining certain professional licenses, volunteer opportunities, housing, and even some educational pursuits and student loans.
There’s also the added benefit of the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing your record will no longer show up for anyone looking into your background for whatever reason, which can help provide closure in moving past the offense or situation that resulted in the record existing in the first place.
TYPES OF EXPUNGEMENTS IN OKLAHOMA
In Oklahoma, there are six different types of expungement:
Section 18: Expungement of arrest and conviction records based on certain crimes and situations
Section 991(C): Expungement after deferred or delayed sentences or probation
Section 60.18: Expungement of a protective order issued against you
Section 19(A): Expungement if your identity was stolen
Section 19(C): Expungement of crimes related to human trafficking
Please note: there are some cases where only the court records related to your case will be deleted, such as a Section 991(C). If you want the OSBI arrest records deleted, you must also request a Section 18 expungement.
DO I QUALIFY FOR AN EXPUNGEMENT IN OKLAHOMA?
There are several different qualifying factors for an expungement in Oklahoma. These can include the following:
- You’ve been acquitted
- You were arrested for a crime but never ended up being charged
- Charges against you have been dropped
- Your conviction was overturned, with all related charges dropped
- You’ve been pardoned
- You’ve been cleared of a crime by DNA evidence
- The crime was committed by someone who used your name
Other qualifications can include:
- You’ve completed the full terms of a suspended or deferred sentence
- You were a juvenile when convicted
- You’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor
- You were convicted of a non-violent felony
Our attorneys can consult with you to determine your eligibility for expungement.
WHEN CAN I FILE FOR AN EXPUNGEMENT IN OKLAHOMA?
If you are not currently serving a sentence for a separate crime and have successfully completed any related court-ordered programs, you are eligible to seek an expungement 30 days after the sentence has been completed. The same is true with a commuted sentence.
THE RIGHT ATTORNEYS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
It is not recommended to navigate the expungement process on your own. In fact, the OSBI itself advises individuals to hire an attorney for the process:
“There are specific paperwork, notice, and legal requirements necessary in order to successfully petition for an expungement of your arrest records. The OSBI strongly suggests you get a lawyer to advise you of the proper actions to take. If you decide to represent yourself, the court will hold you to the same standards for knowing and following the applicable law as it would an attorney.”
Experienced legal representation can be the difference in whether or not your records are granted an expungement. Overman Legal Group, PLLC’s dedicated and award-winning attorneys always provide personalized service and will exhaust every last resource on your behalf when pursuing expungement.
See for yourself how we’ve helped scores of clients receive expungements and fully move on from the burdens of their past. Our team will first review your existing OSBI background report to determine eligibility and then move on to the appropriate next steps in the process. We believe that every qualified individual deserves the best chance in freeing themselves from any past criminal records that are currently creating burdens in their lives. We would love to assist you.