Can I Expunge Multiple Charges or Convictions in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma law regarding the sealing and expungement process from criminal records has recently changed. The new law was signed on the 2nd of May, 2022. This new law makes the expungement process possible for all misdemeanors, and a number of non-conviction felony criminal records. Before this point, laws allowing records to be expunged did already exist, but now the total options available under Oklahoma expungement laws have expanded.
This article will explain the concept of expunging a criminal record, as well as show what criminal record types are eligible for expungement. If you need more information, or would like to seek expungement of your records, our experienced team of lawyers is here to help you.
It all starts with a free consultation with one of our attorneys, who will go through the details of your conviction and arrest record and let you know the specifics of your situation and what to expect.
Do not let your past define you. Call Cannon & Associates today at 405-591-3935 for a free consultation.
What Does It Mean To Have A Criminal Record Expunged Or Sealed?
While often used in very similar scenarios, sealing and expungement are two different parts of the same process.
Sealing is what comes first in the expungement process. When records are first expunged they are actually sealed in the legal sense, so both the physical records and their legal existence remains. This means that the criminal record can still be used as evidence for a future criminal conviction by the prosecution, if that person is alleged to have committed another crime.
However, at this stage, the criminal record ceases to be part of the public records. This means that the record is unavailable to scrutiny from any form of public interest. Often, the most important public party it is hidden from is prospective employers – so you can rest assured that your past will no longer impact your future job prospects.
The second stage of the expungement process is the true expungement. This means that all arrest records and conviction records are destroyed entirely. This second stage is only available once a record has been expunged (or, technically, sealed) for ten years. Furthermore, the expungement must be ordered – but, once again, this is something a lawyer can help you with.
Can A Person Expunge Multiple Charges Or Convictions In Oklahoma?
The good news is that it is technically possible to have multiple charges and convictions expunged under the latest Oklahoma statutes – in some cases, it is even possible for a person to get more than one felony conviction expunged.
However, this does not mean that all prior criminal convictions are eligible for expungement. No violent felony conviction may be expunged, and there are also limits on which types of nonviolent felony offense may be expunged. Furthermore, you can only have a maximum of two non-violent felonies expunged in your lifetime. In some cases, a nonviolent felony offense may be downgraded to a misdemeanor charge.
We will cover all of the intricacies of these situations throughout this page.
Reasons To Pursue Record Expungement In Oklahoma
There are many reasons why someone might want to have their misdemeanor or felony charges or arrest history expunged. Depending on the severity of the charges and whether the conviction was successful or not, a criminal record may prevent a person from:
- Entering certain countries for tourism reasons, or moving to another country.
- Entering into gainful employment – the presence of a criminal record is often used as justification for declining an otherwise suitable job candidate.
- Moving into their dream apartment, as criminal background checks are often a part of property checks.
- Accessing certain educational or training programs, thus preventing a person from improving their life.
- Buying or owning a firearm and exercising their second amendment rights.
- Gaining certain professional and leisure licenses.
- Being able to vote.
All of the above can have a considerable impact on the life of someone who was accused or convicted of misdemeanor or felony charges. They can stop that person from exercising their earned freedom, improving their life, and moving away from the weight of the past.
The good news is that, thanks to the latest Oklahoma statutes, the legal requirements for the expungement process are accessible to more people than ever. With the help of one of our attorneys, you may no longer need to be haunted by reminders of the past.
Which Records Are Removed By The Expungement Process?
Expungement means clearing a person’s entire set of records relating to that accusation, case or conviction. This means the arrest warrant and other records relating to the arrest, the plea record, and all court records.
As mentioned earlier, individuals convicted or charged with multiple crimes may be able to have all of their records expunged – as long as those records are all eligible for expungement, they can be filed for expungement in the same petition. However, if the records are spread across different counties, a separate petition must be submitted for each county.
What Records Are Eligible For Oklahoma Expungement?
Oklahoma legislature makes expungement a possibility in a large range of situations, these include:
- If you were acquitted of felony or misdemeanor charges.
- If your conviction got reserved and was instructed to be dismissed, or the appellate court of competent jurisdiction reversed it, and the prosecuting agency subsequently dismissed the case.
- If you had your factual innocence proven through the use of DNA analysis technology or some other route to the truth – even if you have already served your entire sentence and even if it was a violent felony conviction.
- If you received a complete legal pardon.
- If you were arrested and had no charges filed against you, including different charges to when you were originally arrested, and either the prosecuting agency confirms its intention not to file charges or the statute of limitations on your case expires.
- If you were less than 18 years of age when the offense was committed and you have since received a complete legal pardon.
- If you have been charged with one or more misdemeanor or felony charges and had all these charges dismissed. In this situation, you must never have been a convicted felon, not have any misdemeanor or felony charges pending, the statute of limitations for re-filing the charges must have expired or the prosecuting agency must declare their intention not to re-file – this does not count if your charges have been dismissed after the successful completion of a delayed sentence or deferred judgment.
- If you received a misdemeanor charge and this charge was dismissed after the successful completion of a delayed sentence or deferred judgment more than one year ago. You must also never have been convicted of a felony nor can you have any pending felony or misdemeanor charges against you.
- If you got charged with a nonviolent felony offense that is not covered by 57 O.S. § 571. The charge must have been dismissed after the successful completion of a delayed sentence or deferred judgment at least five years ago, you must never have been convicted of a felony, and have no misdemeanor or felony charges pending against you.
- If you were convicted on a misdemeanor charge, but your misdemeanor sentence was simply a fine of less than $501 without any additional prison time or a suspended sentence. You must have paid the fine in full, never been convicted of a felony, and have no active felony or misdemeanor charges pending against you.
- If you were convicted for at least one misdemeanor offense and have completed your last misdemeanor sentence at least five years ago. You must not be a convicted felon or have any felony or misdemeanor charges pending against you.
- If you have been convicted of the maximum of two nonviolent felony crimes, with the most recent felony sentence having finished at least ten years ago. These non-violent felony convictions must not have caused you to be placed on the sex offender’s register. You must also not have any felony or misdemeanor charges pending against you.
- If you have been convicted of a single nonviolent felony and the sentence finished at least five years ago, and it was your first felony conviction, and you have not been convicted of separate misdemeanor charges in the past seven years. You must also not have any felony or misdemeanor charges pending against you.
- If you have been convicted of a nonviolent felony that was then reclassified and became a misdemeanor. You must not be serving a sentence for any other crime (both inside Oklahoma and in any other state). 30 days must have passed since your sentence was completed – including treatment programs, even if they resulted in an accelerated or revoked sentence.
- If you were the victim of identity theft or mistaken identity on the part of law enforcement agencies.
- If you received a prostitution charge as a result of human trafficking activity.
As you can see, there are many situations that could lead to your eligibility for an expunged record. Unfortunately, many of these are complex and can sometimes be difficult to understand.
Fortunately, you do not have to wonder whether you might be eligible for expungement. You can simply pick up the phone and call us for a free consultation today, and we will go through the specifics of your situation and let you know if you stand a chance of having your criminal past erased.
Your Expungement Request May Be Rejected
Unfortunately, even if you do fulfill the criteria listed in the section above, you are not guaranteed to have your records expunged.
Both the Oklahoma State Bureau (OBSI) and the state can object to your request for expungement and prevent it from happening. They do not have to provide justification for why they are doing this.
The Process Of Getting Your Records Expunged In Oklahoma
If you want to get your criminal records expunged, this is the process you will need to follow:
- Obtain a copy of your criminal history from the Oklahoma State Bureau by completing a criminal history report request form and mailing, faxing, or hand delivering it. You must also pay the required fee of $15.
- If any of your records qualify for expungement, you will then need to petition the district attorney of the area where your arrest record is located.
- After receiving your hearing date, you will need to give a copy of the petition to the district attorney, the Oklahoma State Bureau, the arresting agency, and anyone else involved in your case. You will need to collect all their signatures and bring them to your hearing.
- Attend the hearing date, which may be attended by the arresting agency, the prosecuting agency, the Oklahoma State Bureau, and anyone else who the court deems may have vital information pertaining to the expungement of your record.
How Long Does The Process Of Getting Your Records Expunged Take?
The paperwork for the expungement petition process takes around a month or so to be completed, on average. This time frame includes the time taken for the copies to be delivered to the arresting law enforcement agency, the OBSI, and the prosecution.
There will then be a month’s delay between the hearing request and the hearing itself. Then allow another month for the clerk to receive the order of expungement. Then, finally, the actual expungement process takes around a month.
However, please be aware these are best-case estimates. There are numerous things that can slow down the process. Your lawyer may be able to hurry the process along and remove blockers from your path more quickly.
Hire A Lawyer To Help With Your Record Expungement
If you have a prior conviction or have been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor, there is a good chance that you may be able to get your court record and other such records expunged. Your sealed arrest information and other criminal records will no longer be available to the public, and will be unable to weigh your future life down.
Free yourself from the shackles of your past record. Call an experienced lawyer today for a free consultation at 405-591-3935.
Our Client Reviews
More 5-star Reviews Than 99% Of Lawyers In Oklahoma
"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."
"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."
"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."
"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."
"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"
"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"
"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."
"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."
"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."
"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."
"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."
"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"
"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone!"
"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain.Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these.I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."