Oklahoma City Criminal Record Expungement
Most Americans who are arrested, charged with, or convicted for criminal acts are generally not bad people, yet they are forever branded as such due to their criminal record. Because of modern technology, arrest records are readily available for anyone to view at the click of a button.
Unfortunately, this can have a devastating impact on your life and prevent you from securing employment, receiving further education, or anything that may require someone to check your criminal history.
However, if you have a criminal record in Oklahoma, it might be possible to have it cleared. Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced a process by which you may have your criminal records sealed. This could be life-changing if you have found your criminal record has been holding you back in life.
Expungement can be difficult to obtain, which is why it’s important to get an Oklahoma City expungement lawyer who can provide guidance regarding the process.
Not all law offices handle such procedures, so it’s crucial for you to speak with an Oklahoma City expungement lawyer with extensive knowledge of these legal issues.
This is where Cannon & Associates could help you. Following a free consultation, we can assign you an experienced expungement attorney who can advise you on whether it is possible to have your criminal record expunged in Oklahoma City.
Call us today at 405-591-3935 for a free case evaluation.
What Is An Expungement?
“Expungement” is a legal term that means sealing a record or documents. If your criminal history is sealed, it will not be available for public access.
The expungement process is beneficial for many people who have an arrest record or felony charges on their record and can help them seek employment and rental agreements. This is because while law enforcement agencies are permitted to access expunged arrest documents for certain reasons, none of your criminal records will be available for any other purpose unless permission is granted by you first.
How Do I Get a Criminal Record Expunged in Oklahoma City?
Once a defendant has been convicted of a crime in Oklahoma City, the process of sealing criminal charges from the public record is a complicated one that requires a lawyer who understands how local law enforcement agencies operate.
Oklahoma law allows for a two-part expungement program and, depending on the type of expungement applied for, there are different protocols that must be adhered to.
What’s more, various law enforcement agencies will need to be notified and either agree or object to the expungement request. If there is an objection, you may be given a hearing date and have to appear in the district court to complete the process.
If your case is successful and you have your arrest record expunged, it will clear your Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) criminal history report and the expunged records will be sealed.
What Are the Different Types of Criminal Record Expungement?
There are two different expungement processes available in Oklahoma City. The first is a Section 18 expungement. It’s only possible to have a Section 18 if you’ve been charged or convicted for certain crimes, such as a non-violent felony offense. A Section 18 expungement will allow an individual to clear their entire arrest record and will wipe court records – and any other information related to the criminal case – from the internet. This is what most people hope for when they start an expungement petition, but it isn’t always possible to proceed in this way.
The other type of expungement is a Section 991 (c) expungement. This kind of expungement only applies to individuals who have received a deferred sentence and allows them to expunge their plea. This kind of expungement can only occur if you have completed the terms of your sentence, such as paying fines. It does not, however, remove the arrest record.
An individual can apply to both types of expungement when they are eligible to do so. The two are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, a defendant who has had successful completion of Section 991(c) expungement may later apply for a Section 18 expungement and have their records completely cleared.
Expungement laws are complex, but an experienced criminal record expungement attorney in Oklahoma City at Cannon & Associates can advise you on your eligibility for both types of expungement and assist you with the best course of action, tailored to you and your situation.
What Are The Qualifications For An Expungement in Oklahoma District Court?
In order to be eligible for any kind of expungement, there are certain requirements that need to be met. Furthermore, if you’ve been convicted of crimes such as murder or violent felony, these records cannot be expunged.
The rules concerning records expungement vary from year to year and so it is vital to get an expungement attorney who understands these procedures and what qualifications an individual must have in order to be eligible.
Common Qualifications For Criminal Record Expungement
- Recent DNA evidence proves your innocence.
- If you are a victim of identity theft whereby another individual falsely used your name and accrued felony or misdemeanor charges.
- Sufficient time has passed since your arrest, but no charges have been filed.
- You have had your case dismissed.
- You have a delayed sentence.
- Your conviction has been overturned.
- You have received a pardon.
Less Common Qualifications For Criminal Record Expungement
- You were convicted of a misdemeanor.
- You have completed the terms of your deferred sentence or suspended sentence according to the court order.
- Sufficient time has passed following a conviction for a non-violent felony.
- You were under 18 at the time of the misdemeanor conviction.
- Your misdemeanor sentence was a $500 fine or less.
Can Violent Felonies or Misdemeanor Offenses be Erased From Criminal Records?
If you have a violent felony conviction on your record, unfortunately, Oklahoma law does not allow for you to apply for expungement. Violent felonies such as the following cannot be expunged:
- Aggravated assault.
- Burglary in the first degree.
- Child abuse.
- The battery of a law enforcement officer.
However, if you are unsure whether you are eligible for expungement, it’s worth contacting an Oklahoma City criminal record expungement lawyer at Cannon & Associates for a no-obligation free consultation. Our expungement attorneys know the applicable law statutes inside out and can give you advice regarding your specific case.
How Much Will It Cost To Get Misdemeanor or Felony Charges Expunged with an Expungement Attorney in Oklahoma City?
Applying for an expungement involves paying some administrative fees on top of paying for an Oklahoma district attorney to fight your corner. Although this may be an inconvenience, you should see having your criminal record expunged as an investment, one that will improve your financial situation over time.
The first cost to consider when applying for expungement is the filing fees, which will cost approximately $100. This is because when applying for an expungement, you must file a civil case instead of filing against the original criminal case.
The OSBI will also claim a fee of roughly $15 for a criminal history report and $150 for their processing fee. The good news is that expunging your court records is free of charge, besides the $150 processing fee required for court costs to have your arrest records expunged. The figures provided are only a rough guide, as costs will vary depending on the district court.
It might be tempting to try to cut down on costs by not hiring an expungement lawyer and attempting to take on the arduous task of clearing your court record alone. However, this is a stressful process to take on independently and we would highly recommend having a qualified expungement attorney who understands Oklahoma City law to give you the best chance of winning your case.
Here at Cannon & Associates, we know this can be a costly endeavor, which is why we try to ease your financial burden by first offering you a free case evaluation with one of our experienced expungement attorneys before you decide whether you would like to proceed with the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once expunged, will my record show up in a background check?
Once sealed, arrest information will remain safe from public records in Oklahoma county and this includes background checks. However, it’s important to be aware that despite having an expunged record, physical records such as newspaper articles will still be out in the world.
Although this is the case, the chances of an employer getting a hold of your criminal records will be much slimmer, so they won’t be able to hold your past mistakes against you. This is why it’s worthwhile pursuing an expungement to clear your criminal record.
Do I qualify for expungement even If the arrest happened years ago?
No matter how long ago the criminal conviction or arrest occurred, you will still be able to file for an expungement. Oklahoma law enforcement agencies only request that you meet the qualifications outlined. Your chances of expungement being successful may depend on the amount of time that has passed since your record has been created and the offense you were arrested or convicted for itself.
The expungement process is a complex one and changes year after year, which is why it’s best to consult with an experienced criminal record expungement lawyer in Oklahoma City who can advise you on the best course of action.
Am I guaranteed to get an expungement if I qualify?
There is no guarantee that having gone through the arduous processes of petitioning for an expungement of your criminal record, your records will be sealed. Though it is rare, some petitions might be objected to by the arresting agency, OSBI, or district attorney’s office.
One reason that the OSBI might object to expungement is if they believe keeping the record unsealed is in the public interest and outweighs the benefits for the defendant.
How long does it take to expunge an arrest or charge in Oklahoma City?
The total time for an expungement to be processed can be as short as a few months. It is best to give more time, though, as there are multiple agencies that are involved in the process. It will take roughly one month for expungement paperwork to be processed, which includes time for copies of the petition to reach the law enforcement agencies, OSBI, and the prosecutor.
After this, it will take about a month after the hearing is requested until the hearing is scheduled to occur. Once the court clerk has received a certified copy of the petition, it takes roughly another month on top of that. Arrest record expungement normally takes 4 weeks after the fee and order have been received.
You will then have to check with the OSBI to see if you have been successful, as you will not be notified when your record is expunged.
Are You Considering An Expungement? Call Cannon & Associates Today!
There are many benefits to expunging your criminal record. Whether you were charged with one or more misdemeanor offenses, it could change your life and prevent you from living a normal life. If you had the opportunity to seal this information and had an expunged criminal record, it could alter your life for the better.
So why not get in touch with Cannon & Associates and see if they can help you take back control of your life. We understand that your life can change for the better if arrest records and convictions are sealed and we will fight tooth and nail for our client’s freedom. Just call our expungement attorneys in Oklahoma City today at 405-591-3935 to schedule a free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you.
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