Can a Felony be Expunge Without a Pardon?

Facing felony criminal charges in Oklahoma is a stressful and scary process with the potential consequences of prison, excessive fines and difficult probation. However, even after your case is complete additional difficulties exist. A felony conviction in Oklahoma can cause life altering effects to your employment and future. Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to expunge a felony in Oklahoma. 

Previously under Oklahoma law, a pardon was required to expunge a felony conviction; however, now an individual with one non-violent felony can get an expungement with a pardon. 

When my Felony Conviction is Expunged can I purchase a Firearm?

NO, unfortunately the right to purchase a firearm or possess a firearm in Oklahoma is not restored after expungement of a felony conviction. You can legally state in almost any context that you have never been convicted of a felony; however, the felony still applies in some circumstances, most importantly the continued prohibition on possessing a firearm.  In order to lawfully possess a firearm; the Governor of Oklahoma, or the president, must pardon the felony.

What is a Hidden Felony?

A Hidden Felony is the results of expungement of a felony conviction in Oklahoma. The felony does not get erase from existence; it is hidden. The felony will not be visible to the general public; however, law enforcement will still be able to see/find the felony conviction.

What does Oklahoma Law say about Expungement?

The primary Oklahoma statute detailing the rules for expungement of a felony conviction is Expungement of Criminal Records, Oklahoma Statutes Title 22 Section 18. The Oklahoma Expungement Statute dictates the following:

A person is authorized to file a motion for expungement, if meet the following criteria:

  1. You were convicted of a nonviolent felony, not included in Oklahoma Statutes Title 57 Section 571. (See explanation of Violent Felonies);
  2. At least five (5) years have passed since completion of your felony sentence, this includes being on a deferred sentence or any other type of probation;
  3. You have not been convicted of another felony;
  4. You have not been convicted of a separate misdemeanor in seven (7) years; and
  5. You have no felony or misdemeanor charges pending currently. 

Can my Expunged Felony be used against me?

Yes, the expunged felony is admissible in any subsequent criminal prosecution to prove you have a prior felony conviction or prior felony probation without a conviction. Additionally, the Pardon and Parole Board will have access to the information. 

Why did the Expungement Laws Change?

The Oklahoma legislature passed SB 650 to modify the Expungement statute in an effort to reduce the negative impact on future employment and the stigma of having a felony conviction. The law changed in November of 2018. SB 650 is visible here

Although the changes to the Expungement Statute did not restore all rights an individual exercised in Oklahoma prior to becoming a convicted felon; the changes have afforded hundreds of convicted felonies the opportunity to seek a clean record and improved their employment potential. 

Conclusion

Experience matters when you are seeking to expunge a felony conviction in Oklahoma. It is important to know the Oklahoma Expungement Attorney you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of Oklahoma Expungement law. John Cannon, owner of Cannon & Associates is a former prosecutor and very experienced in the law and issues associated with expungement in Oklahoma. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40 in criminal defense. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and Fight your Expungement. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 1(405) 657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.