Expungement of Your Oklahoma Criminal Record
Having a criminal conviction on your record can greatly impact your job prospects, housing options, and potential educational opportunities. Many individuals who find themselves convicted of a crime in Oklahoma are not bad people; rather, a variety of unfortunate circumstances lead to their arrest and conviction. Recognizing that not everyone convicted of a crime should bear the burden of having a record of that crime follow them around for the rest of their lives, the Oklahoma Legislature has developed certain procedures that allow individuals convicted of some crimes to move past the conviction through erasure of it.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is the process by which an individual can obtain the removal of their arrest or criminal record by order of the court. Once the expungement is complete, the criminal record is deemed not to exist and the individual can deny the existence of the record for most intents and purposes.
Reasons to Expunge or seal Your Oklahoma Criminal Record:
1. You cannot pass an Oklahoma background check.
2. Your Oklahoma criminal arrest record is negatively impacting your career or educational goals.
3. Employers are turning you away because of your Oklahoma criminal arrest record.
4. You plan to apply to college or graduate school and have a Oklahoma criminal arrest record.
5. You cannot obtain a professional licenses for your job due to a Oklahoma criminal arrest record.
6. You want to carry a concealed weapon but cannot obtain a permit due to your Oklahoma criminal record.
7. You simply want to clean up your criminal history and arrest record in Oklahoma
Types of Expungements:
In Oklahoma, there four different types of expungements. All are contained with Section 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes. We address the two most common types of expungements below, but an expungement attorney can explain in depth the full plethora of options. Convictions and Arrest Records (Section 18 Expungement) A Section 18 Expungement can erase or seal both arrest and conviction records. The statute sets out a list of circumstances you must meet to obtain an expungement under Section 18. Some possible scenarios that will allow you to obtain an expungement include:
1. Conviction for a misdemeanor
2. If 10 years have passed and you do not have any other convictions.
3. Conviction for a felony
4. If the felony was nonviolent and you have not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor in 10 years Charged with a misdemeanor--if you either completed a deferred sentence, have no other convictions, and two years have passed; or the charge was dismissed and the statute of limitations has expired
These are just a few possible circumstances that will entitle you to an expungement. An expungement attorney can assess your circumstances and determine whether you may be a candidate for a Section 18 Expungement. Deferred or Delayed Sentences (Section 991(c) Expungement) Sometimes, a judge will withhold a finding of guilty and allow you to go through a "probation" period. A Section 991(c) expungement allows those who have received deferred sentences to expunge their plea. Section 991(c) Expungement will not remove the arrest record; rather, it will reflect that you plead not guilty and the case was dismissed. In order to qualify for a Section 991(c) expungement, you must successfully complete the conditions of your probation and the entire deferral period needs to have passed.
Charles J Kania is an Oklahoma attorney whose law firm helps individuals file for expungements of their criminal records. He has several years of criminal law experience for both felony and misdomeanor cases. He has also written countless legal articles including criminal law and criminal record expungement. See his works at http://wagonerattorneys.net/