Any arrest, charge, or conviction carries with it a record with the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation. These can come back to haunt a person trying to move past a criminal conviction or accusation. Expungements allow you to move on from your criminal past.
Employment background checks are common. A misdemeanor or felony on your record can cost you the job.
A criminal past makes it difficult or impossible to do any of the following:
- lease a house
- get a loan
- join the military
- attend college or university
- get a professional license
- volunteer at your child's school
If you have completed a deferred sentence or served your sentence, you have paid your dues. Your criminal record forces you to deal with the consequences of a mistake long afterward. Filing a petition with the State of Oklahoma for expungement of your record can give you a fresh start.
Hiring an Expungement Lawyer to Seal Your Record
In the state of Oklahoma, the expungement process is not automatic. Your convictions do not disappear from your record after a set amount of time. You must petition the court to have your record expunged.
The District Attorney's Office and any police agency can challenge the sealing of your criminal record.
In most cases, you only get one shot at doing it right. Ensure your petition is filed correctly. Hire a lawyer who is familiar with expungements in Oklahoma.
If your expungement is contested, it is critical that you have experienced Oklahoma City expungement lawyers on your side to fight the challenge. When you have had enough of your criminal past infringing on your present, call (405) 418-8888 to speak with an expungement attorney.
What is an Expungement?
Many people talk of clearing or sealing their record. This process is referred to as expungement (or in some cases, expunction) of the criminal file.
In Oklahoma, there are two types of expungements. The first requires the successful completeion of a deferred sentence. The defendant's name can then be sealed from Oklahoma court records and public view. The disposition of the case changes from a guilty plea to reflect a plea of not guilty, case dismissed.
This seals your court record from public checks, but your arrest record remains on file with the OSBI.
A 991c expungement removes your files from the Oklahoma State Courts Network (OSCN) and ODCR websites. Your OSCN background check will reveal a record that says you pled not guilty and your case was dismissed.
Criteria for Qualifying
In order to seal your Oklahoma criminal record, you must meet specified criteria outlined under 22 O.S. § 18-19. These statutes explain the qualifications and procedures in Oklahoma.
More people will qualify for a Section 991(c) than a Section 18/19; however, the two are not mutually exclusive. If you would like to clear your record, consulting a qualified lawyer is the first step. An attorney can examine your file to determine the best option for which you qualify, and he knows the procedure for quickly and properly petitioning the court for an expungement of your court arrest records or criminal history.
What Types of Records Can Be Expunged in Oklahoma?
Anyone who complies with the terms of his or her probation under a deferred sentence is eligible to have his or her record expunged under 22 O.S. § 991(c). People convicted of certain misdemeanors and non-violent felonies may be eligible under 22 O.S. § 18-19. In many cases, a person may have his or her juvenile record expunged, and people who were arrested but never charged can have their OSBI arrest record expunged. It is highly recommended that those looking to seal a felony record hire a qualified lawyer to assist you in the process.
What are the Costs for Expunging a Criminal Record in Oklahoma?
There are at least three types of costs in a typical Oklahoma expungement case.
- Attorney’s Fee
- District Court's filing fee
- Processing fee paid to OSBI
- Processing fee paid to the Municipality (if necessary)
As of 2019, the filing fee for an expungement in Oklahoma County is $154.14. The payment is made directly to the Court Clerk. This allows you to file your petition for expungement and get a hearing in front of a judge.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) collects data on arrests and criminal charges. If you are arrested, the arresting agency generally sends your information to OSBI, and they keep your information on file. There are times when the police or sheriff’s office neglects to send your file to OSBI, but the arresting agency will still have their records.
After your case is successfully expunged, a certified copy of that Court Order will be sent to all agencies (including your OSBI record) that have your record on file.
A fee of $150 is charged by the OSBI for handling the paperwork. The fee's your attorney will charge are often dependent upon the circumstances of your case.
Our Oklahoma City criminal law firm has a high success rate due to our expertise in Oklahoma record expungement laws. We understand every step of the expungement process.