Expungement in Oklahoma refers to a legal process whereby a person’s criminal conviction or arrest is sealed and cleansed from his or her public criminal record. The type of expungement that is appropriate to a given criminal case will vary, depending upon whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony, whether the person was a juvenile (minor) or an adult, whether a conviction occurred, what sentence was received, and how much time has passed since the conviction and completion of the sentence. Expungement law in Oklahoma can be complicated, so it is critical that you consult with an experienced Oklahoma lawyer that knows expungement law.
What is the effect of an Expungement in Oklahoma?
An order granting an expungement causes the criminal conviction or arrest in Oklahoma to be officially deemed to have never occurred. The criminal records related to the incident are sealed; however, they are not destroyed. Oklahoma Law enforcement agencies will continue to have access to the basic identification information contained therein. Additionally, upon Petition, with compelling reason, expunged records can be unsealed, but this is rare.
The advantages of having a criminal record expunged are numerous. Since the expunged incident is deemed to have never occurred, employers, educational institutions, state and local government agencies, officials, and employees shall not, in any application or interview or otherwise, require an applicant to disclose any information contained in sealed records.
Oklahoma Expungement Laws and criminal record attorneys
Oklahoma statutes have two basic provisions for expungements:
- Deferred Sentence – If one was sentenced to a deferred sentence pursuant to Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 991c or Okla. Stat. tit. 63, § 2-410, after a successful probation one is entitled to expungement.
- Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 18 (2004) – Provides nine specific circumstances where a defendant or arrested person who was not charged may seek an expungement.
Expungement of a Felony in Oklahoma
If you have been convicted of a felony in Oklahoma and did not receive a deferred sentence, there are only limited circumstances where an expungement can be obtained:
- Proof of factual innocents through DNA;
- Conviction reversed by appellate court; or
- Felony was nonviolent in nature, defendant was pardoned, person has not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony, no charges are currently pending, and ten (10) years has passed since the conviction.
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