What is a deferred sentence in Oklahoma?
A deferred criminal sentence in Oklahoma is a delay in sentencing. It is not a conviction and your criminal case is still pending sentencing. Basically, a deferred criminal sentence is synonymous to delaying or setting off sentencing. Whether you pled guilty, nolo contendre (no contest), or enter an Alford plea, you have not been convicted, if you are on a deferred sentence. Oklahoma law requires sentencing to occur prior to any criminal case being considered a conviction.
You entered a plea, if you are on a deferred sentence; however, you were never sentenced, because your sentencing was set off or deferred. A deferred sentence is not a final outcome, because sentencing has been set off or delayed. Once sentencing comes and you have successfully completed probation, your case will be dismissed!
What happens after I complete my Deferred Sentence?
First and foremost, your case will be dismissed, if you successfully complete your deferred sentence! Additionally, related to expungement, you have two options to seal your arrest record once you successfully complete a deferred sentence and you meet the criteria below:
- Section 991c Expungement (OKLA. STAT. tit. 22 §991); and
- Section 18 Expungement (OKLA. STAT. tit. 22 § 18).
Successful completion of a deferred sentence in Oklahoma, allowing a Section 991 Expungement, requires the following:
- Avoiding new or separate criminal charges;
- Paying all court costs and all files;
- Completing community service;
- Passing all required drug tests;
- Completing all conditions of probation.
Is a Deferred Sentence a Conviction?
No, a deferred sentence is not a conviction under Oklahoma law. Upon successful completion of a deferred sentence, you may fully seal your arrest record by exercising a Section 18 Expungement. Though this applies to all misdemeanors, it only applies to non-violent felonies.
Can I Expunge a Deferred Felony Sentence?
Yes and no, a deferred sentence on a non-violent felony is not a conviction (see above). Rather, your sentence was delayed or deferred on your felony. Under Oklahoma law, a person must be sentenced before there is a conviction. Deferred “sentencing” means your sentence was set off, delayed, therefore you have never been sentenced!
What about an Application to Accelerate or Revoke?
An application to accelerate is the public act or decision of the prosecutor, district attorney, to seek to accelerate your sentence from the original delay or deferment to now. An application to revoke is the decision of the prosecutor, district attorney, to seek to revoke your probation on your conviction or suspended sentence. Suspended sentence is a misdemeanor or felony conviction, including a jail or prison sentence; however, the sentence of incarceration is delayed or suspended upon your successful completion of probation. An application to revoke is an attempt to revoke your probation and enforce jail or prison.
The burden of proof on an application to accelerate or application to revoke is much lower than the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt on your original criminal case. The reason the burden is lower is that you have already waived the prosecutor’s burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury when you entered a plea in your case.
With the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney and getting into compliance on probation, may result in your application accelerate or application to revoke being dismissed. However, if your sentence is accelerated to a conviction, your eligibility for an expungement will be delayed or lost forever, depending on your charges and the changes to Section 18 and Section 991 Expungements.
What Is A 991c Expungement?
A Section 991 Expungement seals the courthouse record and OSCN records of your criminal case. However, a Section 991 Expungement does not seal your arrest record with law enforcement or more importantly OSBI. Therefore, someone can obtain the records by making a criminal background check through OSBI, i.e. potential employers.
The good news is that a Section 991 Expungement seals all court records from public access. Therefore, the records will not be visible or searchable on OSCN.net or ODCR.com. Although a criminal background check through OSBI would still show your arrest record/deferred sentence, employers searching on these two websites would not see your criminal history.
The good news is that upon completion of a deferred sentence for a misdemeanor or non-violent felony makes you eligible for a more complete Section 18 Expungement, which provides the maximum protection/privacy available under Oklahoma law for criminal cases, probable cause filings, arrest, and other records.
What is required for Expungement of a Deferred Sentence?
In order to qualify for a felony expungement, your deferred sentence cannot be for a statutory violent felony. You can find a complete list of Oklahoma Violent Felonies on our Violent Crimes Defense page, which includes a link to the statute for every listed felony.
Additionally, in order to qualify for an expungement of a deferred sentence, you must have successfully completed all the terms of your probation. You may not have any felony convictions. You cannot have a pending misdemeanor or felony case.
Finally, you must wait five (5) years after the Court dismisses the felony case. In other words, you would not be eligible until at least five (5) years after completion of your felony probation.
Expungement under Section 18 is always discretionary to the court. However, we will fight for you and show the court how sealing your record and protecting your privacy is more important than the public interest in your history.
Experienced Expungement Lawyer in Oklahoma
Contact Cannon & Associates Law Firm in Edmond for your 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 possible outcome in your case.
Contact Cannon & Associates now if you are interested in an expungement in Oklahoma. Cannon & Associates has an outstanding record of reaching the best possible outcome for hundreds of clients evidenced by John receiving the highest possible AVVO rating – 10 (superb) and being identified as a Super Lawyer. Call our office at (405) 657-2323 or Fill out the Form on this PAGE NOW for a free confidential case evaluation.
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