In order to seal your arrest or criminal case record in Oklahoma, you must qualify for and obtain an expungement order in the District Court where your arrest and criminal record are held. Our team of Fierce Advocates would be glad to help you seek an expungement of your records, if you qualify under the Oklahoma expungement statutes, Oklahoma Statutes Title 22 Section 18.

This article explains the process for obtaining an expungement in Oklahoma. On another page of our website, you can find out whether or not you are qualified to seek expungement of your criminal record. The process for filing and obtaining an expungement in Oklahoma is legally and procedurally complex. Our team has helped many clients obtain expungement of their records and can assist you in the process, if you do not want to fight for your expungement alone. 

The following is an overview of the steps our team would take to help you obtain an expungement of your Oklahoma criminal record. We hope this article assists you in understanding the process for an expungement in Oklahoma. Knowledge is power and when you understand the process for obtaining an expungement of your criminal records, you may be ready to begin the process of getting your criminal record behind you forever. 

Overview of Expungement Process

The following is an outline of the process for obtaining an expungement in Oklahoma. Later in this article, we will discuss the specifics of each of the following steps in your expungement case in Oklahoma. However, first a snap shot of the process for obtaining an expungement and sealing your criminal record in Oklahoma:

  1. Research your Expungement
  2. Draft the Expungement Petition
  3. File your Expungement Petition
  4. Deliver Expungement Petition and Order Setting Hearing with Court
  5. Serve the Expungement Petition
  6. Pick-up the Expungement Hearing Order
  7. Mail the Expungement Hearing Order
  8. Circulate Proposed Expungement Order
  9. Attend the Expungement Hearing
  10. File the Expungement Order
  11. Pay Expungement Filing Fees

Step-by-Step Expungement Process in Oklahoma

Research Your Expungement

The first step in the process for seeking an expungement of your criminal record in Oklahoma is research. Our team will research your case to ensure you are eligible for an expungement under Oklahoma law, specifically Oklahoma Statutes Title 22 Section 18. 

Draft the Expungement Petition

Once you or your Oklahoma expungement attorney know that you qualify for expungement, you must draft the petition for expungement and other necessary pleadings to initiate your case. It is important to include all necessary elements in your expungement to ensure the parties you are requesting expunge records can identify your record and also know the extent of what you are requesting be expunged. Additionally, the court considering your expungement will want to know that have presented all the necessary information and arguments to support your petition for expungement. 

You will need to identify the law enforcement agency involved in your case, investigation, and/or arrest; the District Attorney’s Office in the county the petition is being filed, as well as the legal representatives for OSBI and the law enforcement agency or agencies involved. You must include the criminal case number that you are wanted expunged as well. 

The case number of your expungement will be assigned by the court clerk’s office, after you file your expungement petition. Therefore, you should include all identify information, except the case number. When your proposed expungement order for the court and necessary parties review, you must include the case number of your expungement petition. You will be required to pay a filing fee to the court clerk’s office when you file your expungement petition, as there is a filing fee anytime you open a new case. 

In addition to your expungement petition, you will need an Order Setting Hearing on your Expungement, as well as the proposed Agreed Expungement Order mentioned above. 

File your Expungement Petition

Jurisdiction is very important when determining where to file your expungement case. The District Court must have jurisdiction to hear your expungement case, in order to enter an order of expungement that is enforceable against the District Attorney, law enforcement agencies, and OSBI. Generally speaking, so long as you file the expungement in the county in which your arrest or criminal case was filed, you will be in the right jurisdiction for your expungement case to be heard, i.e. if you were arrested and charged with a crime in Oklahoma County, you would need to file your expungement in Oklahoma County. 

In order to file your expungement petition, you will need to mail the necessary pleadings to the Court Clerk along with the filing fee or you can go in person to file the expungement case. Remember to bring multiple copies, so you will have copies, as the Court Clerk will keep the original copy of your expungement pleadings with an ink signature. 

The Court Clerk’s Office will issue a case number for the expungement and assign a judge to your case. Smaller counties have one judge that handles expungements in addition to many other duties. However, larger counties have a specific judge that receives your case when you file your Oklahoma County expungement or you file your Tulsa County expungement. Either way, once you have filed your Oklahoma County expungement, your Canadian County expungement, your Cleveland County expungement, or your expungement in the appropriate county a judge will be assigned by the Court Clerk’s Office to hear your case.  

Deliver Expungement Petition and Order Setting Hearing with Court

Once your expungement case is filed, you will need to deliver a copy of your expungement petition and the order setting hearing on your expungement petition with the assigned judge. In some counties, this means leaving a copy of the expungement pleadings in the judge’s inbox in the Court Clerk’s Office; however, most counties will require you to go to the judge’s physical chambers or mail a copy of the expungement pleadings to the assigned judge. Either way, you are responsible, not the Court Clerk, in delivering a copy of your expungement pleadings to the judge.  Place the pleadings in the judge’s “In Box” outside the door of chambers, if one exists. Only enter judge’s chambers, if instructed or no “In Box” exists for the judge.

Serve the Expungement Petition

You can save yourself a stamp and time by hand delivering a copy of your expungement petition to the District Attorney’s Office, as their offices are generally in the District Courthouse. In Oklahoma County, the District Attorney’s Office is on the fifth floor of the County Annex Building, i.e. one floor above the Oklahoma County Court Clerk’s Office, which is on the fourth floor. Additionally, you will need to serve a copy of the following on the general counsel’s office for OSBI, each law enforcement agency involved in your case or arrest, and any other necessary party: on the certificate of mailing listed that you filed with the:

  • Petition for Expungement
  • Certificate of Mailing
  • Order Setting Hearing on the Expungement
  • Proposed Order of Expungement
  • Optional: letter accompanying your packet to introduce yourself and provide your contact information

Pick-up the Expungement Hearing Order

You will need to pick-up the expungement hearing order, which gives the date, time and place that the Court will hear your Oklahoma expungement petition, unless you are able to get the expungement hearing scheduled, while you are at the courthouse. You will need to file the expungement hearing order.

Mail the Expungement Hearing Order

You will need to repeat the mailing step above, unless you are able to get the Expungement Hearing Order signed by the Court when you file your Petition for Expungement. 

Circulate Proposed Expungement Order

You must serve the Proposed Expungement Order to all necessary parties. Oftentimes, if you can get OSBI to sign off on your proposed expungement order, it will make it easier to get the signature of other necessary parties to your expungement. You need to circulate the proposed expungement order by mail to all necessary parties to your expungement. You can avoid the previously scheduled hearing on your expungement petition, if all necessary parties sign your proposed order for expungement. You can take the proposed expungement order directly to the Court for signature and entry of the expungement, if all necessary parties agree to your proposed expungement order. 

Attend the Expungement Hearing

Unfortunately, our Oklahoma expungement attorneys have found that in some cases one or more necessary parties will refuse to sign the proposed expungement order. When any necessary party refuses to sign the proposed expungement order, the Court will hold the hearing on your petition for expungement. 

In the hearing on your Petition for Expungement, the Court will evaluate, if your personal interest outweighs the public interest. Specifically, the Court will evaluate these competing interests and decide to seal or not seal your record. The most common types of records sealed by an expungement in Oklahoma are the following: criminal records, criminal cases, protective orders and/or arrests.

The judge conducting the hearing on your Oklahoma Petition for Expungement has the authority to order your records be sealed, even over the objection of any party, including law enforcement, the District Attorney, and OSBI. 

File the Expungement Order

This is the moment you or you and your Oklahoma expungement attorney have waited to reach, filing the Expungement Order that will authorizing sealing your records. It is important you or your Oklahoma expungement lawyer make copies of the Oklahoma Expungement Order signed by the Court, prior to filing the Expungement Order.  You need to send a certified copy of the expungement petition to every party that you want to take action. Therefore, you need to send a certified copy of your Oklahoma Expungement Order to OSBI, law enforcement, and the District Attorney’s Office that prosecuted your case.

Pay the Expungement Filing Fee

This final step, paying the Expungement Filing Fee, could be included in the previous step; however, it is worthy of separating as the Order expunging your records will not be acted upon until you pay this fee.  However, once you send a certified copy of the order expunging your Oklahoma criminal record or other record to OSBI with the necessary fee, OSBI will seal your records and will never provide them to the public. 

Conclusion: Your Oklahoma Expungement Process

The process above details every step you need to follow in order to seek an expungement of your Oklahoma criminal record and/or protective order. Your Oklahoma Expungement process may seem overwhelming; however, where there is a will there is a way.  We are dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for Freedom and would gladly schedule a free confidential case evaluation with you to determine, if you are eligible for an expungement and discuss a plan for getting your Oklahoma expungement completed. 

Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and obtain an expungement of your record in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.