What is an Expungement and why do I want one?
Expungement is an attorney-led process that uses the Courts to erase or change criminal record(s). People seek expungement because the existence of these records can negatively impact their careers, educational goals, and their personal lives; and the records are freely accessible to the public on the Oklahoma Supreme Court's website and the On Demand Court Records website.
If I have a criminal record in Oklahoma, do I have one record or many different records?
Each crime generally creates several types of records:
Otherwise, there is not a single "master" criminal record that holds all crimes on your record, and different agencies have different policies as to which crimes they do or do not report. The closest thing to a "master" criminal record, at the State level, is your OSBI criminal background check, which is expungeable as explained below. The OSBI criminal background check is typically the "background check" paid for by employers.
What changed on November 1st, 2012?
Oklahoma House Bill 3091 significantly changed Oklahoma expungement law, and persons who did not previously qualify for expungement under the old law may now be eligible, and those who were eligible may have lost their qualification (especially "6 month expungeable deferred" cases).
After Nov. 1st, 2012, what situations typically qualify for Expungement?
Generally speaking, the following criminal records can be erased with an expungement, after 11/1/12:
Where you have a non-violent felony:
Where you have a misdemeanor (including violent crimes): 1. If you have a misdemeanor, got a deferred sentence, and have no other convictions (suspended sentences or jail time) or pending cases, you can expunge your records two (2) years after the end of your deferred. 2. If you have a misdemeanor, got a conviction (suspended sentence or jail time), and do not have any other convictions or pending cases, you can expunge your records ten (10) years from your plea date (or conviction date, if you had a trial).
Where you were arrested, but never charged, or the charges were dismissed:
If you do not qualify for any of the above, but received a deferred sentence:
You can still erase the Court Records (www.oscn.net and www.odcr.com), and you can update your OSBI record to from your original plea information (such as "Pled Guilty, 1 Year Deferred"), to "Pled Not Guilty, Case Dismissed".
Finally, know that there are other situations which qualify for expungement, but are more rare and/or complicated. As always, contact an attorney to review your specific factual situation, and ensure that you understand all of your available options.