Mistakes are bound to happen. However, some mistakes attract grave consequences compared to others. One type of mistake that can lead to a grave consequence is being charged with a criminal offense, especially if it leads to a criminal conviction. The aftermath of a criminal conviction may affect all areas of the convicted person’s life including their finances, insurance, education, job, and others. 

Thankfully, the State of Oklahoma offers those with a criminal past to clear their criminal charges and/or criminal cases from their criminal records. The process, known as expungement or sealing of records, can be done in two ways. Not everyone is qualified to apply for an expungement and that is why it is best to speak to an experienced criminal defense expungement lawyer for help.

Are Expungements Worth It?

When considering an expungement or sealing of criminal records, one has to consider the pros and cons of the action. On one hand, the process can be slightly costly and demanding, on the other hand, you stand a chance to enjoy a wide range of benefits. The first and most important of these benefits is the ability to pass background checks for jobs, rental apartments, and more. A person who has his or her criminal history expunged will show up clean as though they were never involved in the crime. With expunged criminal records, potential employers, property management companies, and others will give you a better audience. Remember that criminal records often limit a person’s chances of getting choice rental properties, jobs, and even admission into some colleges.

Other advantages of expungement include access to professional licenses that are otherwise not available to ex-convicts, a wider array of career opportunities, and a restoration of the right to own and carry firearms. If you are being held back at work or in other areas of your life due to a criminal record, an expungement may be the right solution to get ahead. You can contact an expungement attorney in your local area to get started.

Types of Oklahoma Expungements

In Oklahoma, there are two major types of expungements; Section 18 expungements and Section 991(c) expungements. Section 18 expungement offers a more comprehensive benefit to petitioners but it is harder to get. On the other hand, Section 991(c) offers limited options to petitioners. To determine what is best, you should seek guidance from your attorney.

Section 18 Expungement in Oklahoma

Section 18 expungement is also known as full expungement and offers a more comprehensive cover to the petitioner. Most people want the advantages of a Section 18 expungement but the hurdles are harder to cross. To receive a section 18 expungement, an applicant must file a Petition for Expungement in District Court, notify the appropriate parties, and potentially hold a hearing to convince the Court to order the expungement.

Subsequent to a Court Order for expungement, the Petitioner or their counsel must file the expungement order will all relevant parties and pay the filing fee in order for the expungement order to be in effect. should be filed with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). If the expungement order is granted, the criminal records will be sealed from the public but available to law enforcement.

Section 18 expungement required at least one of twelve conditions to be met, however, a new law that came into effect in November of 2018 has expanded the list to 14.

Section 991(C) Expungement in Oklahoma

Section 991(c) expungements do not offer as much protection to the petitioner as Section 18. This expungement is often used in combination with guilty pleas and is often available after the condition of the plea agreement has been met. Unlike Section 18, Section 991(c) does not completely erase a person’s criminal history. Once this petition has been granted, the title of the case goes from “pled guilty” to “pled not guilty, case dismissed.” Although this change offers some form of benefits, a criminal record remains and this can be a hindrance in many ways.

Conclusion – Oklahoma Expungement Attorneys

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.