Expungement of Criminal Records in Oklahoma
Everyone makes mistakes in life and most of us wish we could erase our mistakes. Good news! You may be able to put your criminal past behind you. An expungement acts to erase your criminal history as though the crime never happened. Having your criminal record expunged can help you in many aspects of your life. Most importantly, it erases your past and gives you a chance at a fresh start. Not only does an expungement give you a fresh start, it also allows you to pursue your career, educational, and personal goals in life.
§ 18 – General Expungement
In Oklahoma, you can get a expungement if you fall into any of several categories. If you fit into any of the following 12 categories you should seek legal advice on how to clear your record:
- If you have been acquitted;
- If your conviction was reversed with instructions to be dismissed;
- If your innocence was established using DNA testing subsequent to being convicted;
- If the Governor has granted you a full pardon on a basis of written findings of your actual innocence of the crime for which you were sentenced;
- If you were arrested and no charges were brought against you or the prosecuting agency declined to file charges against you,
- If you were under 18 at the time of the offense committed and you have received a full pardon;
- If you were charged with one or more misdemeanor or felony crimes, all charges have been dismissed, and you have never been convicted of a felony, and no felony and misdemeanor charges are pending against you, and the statute of limitations has run for refiling of charges, however, this category does not apply if the charges against you were dismissed following the completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence;
- If you were charged with a misdemeanor, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred or delayed sentence, you have never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against you, and at least 2 years has passed since the charge against you was dismissed;
- If you were charged with a nonviolent felony offense, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, you have never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against you, and at least 10 years has passed since the charges were dismissed;
- If you were convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you have not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against you, and at least 10 years has passed since the conviction.
- If you were convicted of a nonviolent felony offense, you have received a full pardon of the offense, you have not been convicted of any other misdemeanors or felonies, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against you, and at least 10 years has passed since the conviction; or
- If you have been charged or arrested or are the subject of an arrest warrant for a crime that was committed by another person who has appropriated or used you name or other ID without your consent or authorization.
After successfully obtaining a general expungement your criminal record will no longer be accessible to the public or to employers. The expungement will act to erase the crime as though it never occurred. If asked about the crime you typically, but not always, may truthfully answer that it never happened.
As you can see there are many categories that can be used to successfully obtain an expungement. If you find you do not qualify for an expungement under any of the categories listed above there is still hope. If you don’t qualify for a general expungement, you may be able to obtain an expungement by going down the deferred sentence expungement route.
§ 991c – Deferred Sentence Expungement
If you are not eligible, at this time, for a general expungement, there is an alternative route you can take. So long as the sentence you received was a “ deferred sentence," you may get a deferred sentence expungement. A deferred sentence simply means that you were placed on probation. For example, suppose you plead guilty or no contest to a crime and receive a deferred sentence. Upon successfully completing your probationary period and probationary requirements, you may apply for a deferred sentence expungement. However, if you are granted a deferred sentence expungement, your criminal record would not be completely erased. Your case records would be sealed with the Courts and your case file would be sealed. However, your criminal record with the arresting agency and OSBI would still show what crime you were charged with but your plea would change from “guilty/nolo contendre" to “not guilty," and your disposition would change from “deferred sentence" to “case dismissed." What this means is that your arrest would still be visible to the general public and to law enforcement officers but it would show that you were not guilty of the charges and that your case was dismissed. Keep in mind that a deferred sentence expungement may be obtained while you are waiting to become eligible for a general expungement.