An expungement is a process through which a court may order your past to be sealed from the public view. The purpose of an expungement is to protect the privacy interests of certain individuals that qualify and allows those individuals to move forward in life without events from their past looming over their head. In Oklahoma, if the circumstances are right you may qualify for expungement of your Oklahoma Victim Protective Order (“VPO”).
What is a VPO?
A Victim Protective Order (“VPO”) is an order from a court that prohibits certain contact or communication between two parties. You may have heard of a “restraining order” before. If so, under the laws of Oklahoma, a restraining order between domestic parties is called a VPO.
VPOs are commonly ordered in family disputes, typically in divorces or disputes over child custody. When one party files a Petition for a VPO, a new case is created, and the defendant is made a party to the case. At that moment, without the defendant having been served with the VPO or even aware a Petition has been filed, there is a public record. Whether the VPO is active, expired, or the whole case was dismissed, the record of the VPO remains available to the public until it is properly expunged.
Many people do not want to have the accusations recorded in a VPO visible to the public, their friends, family, children, neighbors, co-workers, or prospective employers. Under certain circumstances, the laws of Oklahoma provide a path for these records to be sealed from public view (including background checks); the Oklahoma VPO expungement process. Once a VPO has been expunged, the parties to the case can legally deny it ever occurred.
How to expunge a VPO?
Before you can expunge a VPO, your case must be eligible. To determine whether a VPO case is eligible for expungement, one of our experienced Oklahoma expungement attorneys will need to conduct a case-by-case legal analysis. Call or email Cannon & Associates to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced expungement attorneys to determine whether your VPO case is eligible for expungement.
Once we know your case is eligible, our Oklahoma expungement attorneys at Cannon & Associates will begin drafting the Petition for Expungement and Sealing of Records where we will set out both factual and legal arguments showing why your VPO case should be expunged.
Once the Petition is drafted, it is filed in the original VPO case. Unlike other kinds of expungements where a new civil case is created, in a VPO case the Petition is filed in the same case!
Additionally, notice of the Petition will be given to the plaintiff that filed the VPO originally, as well as the local District Attorney’s Office. Both parties in an Oklahoma VPO may seek expungement. While it is usually the plaintiff in the VPO case would seek an expungement, the laws of Oklahoma allow for the plaintiff or the alleged victim to seek to have the records sealed or expunged.
Once the Petition is filed and notice is given to the parties, a hearing will be scheduled. Prior to that hearing, any party in the case may file an objection. If a party objects, the court will listen to the arguments presented at the hearing and make a determination as to whether the records should be expunged. In making this determination, the court weighs the privacy interest of the party seeking an expungement against the interests of society having access to the records. If, however, there are no objections, the court will almost certainly grant the Petition and order the records to be sealed.
To ensure our clients have their records expunged properly, Cannon & Associates proactively seeks out the parties to the case and works with them to address any objections prior to the hearing. This proactive advocacy provides our clients with security and peace of mind that the Petition will almost certainly be granted.
Contact an Experienced Oklahoma Expungement Attorney
Contact Cannon & Associates in Edmond for your Oklahoma expungement. Our attorneys are Fierce Advocates for every client and will use our experience and respected reputation to do everything possible to reach the best outcome in your expungement case, the sealing of all records.
Contact Cannon & Associates now if you are interested in a VPO expungement in Oklahoma. Cannon & Associates has an outstanding record and reputation of successfully expunging and sealing records of VPO cases, as well as criminal cases. Call our office at (405) 657-2323 or fill out the form on this page now for a free confidential consultation.