Many people with criminal records seek to expunge the record of their conviction at a later date. When a criminal record is expunged, court documents about the case are sealed, which prevents the public from reviewing the criminal records. In Oklahoma, there are two kinds of criminal records expungement: expungement of the complete criminal record and expungement of a person's name from court records. (See 22 O.S. §18 and 22 O.S. § 991c, respectively).
Expungement of Complete Record – Section 18
An expungement of the complete criminal record seals the arrest record, paper and online documents, and background checks. Since the person's criminal records will no longer be viewable by the public, this process helps a person with a criminal conviction move forward after they have paid the price for their crime. Once a person's record is expunged under Section 18, they can truthfully answer that they do not have a criminal record.
However, not every conviction is eligible for expungement in Oklahoma. Only non-violent felonies may be expunged. What is the difference between non-violent felonies and violent felonies in Oklahoma? Generally, violent felonies are crimes against a person, while non-violent felonies are offenses against property.
Violent Crimes in Oklahoma
Violent crimes in Oklahoma include the following:
• Assault and/or battery with a dangerous or deadly weapon
• Aggravated assault and battery upon an officer of the law
• Aggravated assault and battery upon any person defending another person from assault and battery
• Assault with intent to commit a felony or while masked or disguised
• Shooting, poisoning, or assaulting with intent to kill
• First or second-degree murder or manslaughter
• Kidnapping offenses
• Extortion offenses
• First-degree burglary, including burglary with explosives
• Wiring any equipment with explosives including a vehicle
• Arson offenses
• Robbery offenses in the first-degree or robbery with a firearm or weapon
• Child abuse and lewd or indecent acts or propositions with a child
• Child pornography offenses
• Child prostitution
• Human trafficking
• First or second-degree rape
• Use of a firearm or offensive weapon to commit or attempt to commit a felony
• Brandishing or pointing a firearm
• Rioting offenses
• Criminal syndicalism
• Crimes against a bus
• Using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon
• Mistreatment or abuse of a mental patient, or other vulnerable adult who is a resident in a nursing facility
• Bombing offenses, sabotage and terrorism crimes.
If a person has been convicted of any of these crimes, they are not eligible for expungement in Oklahoma.
Misdemeanors are Eligible for Expungement in Oklahoma
If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor that did not result in a jail sentence and the fine was under $501, he or she may be able to file a Petition for Expungement immediately.
If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor which resulted in a deferred judgment or suspended sentence, he or she can file for expungement one year after completion of the sentence.
If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor which resulted in jail time or a fine over $500, the person can file for expungement five years after completing a sentence.
There must be no other felony or misdemeanor charges pending against the person at the time they apply for Section 18 expungement.
Deferred Sentence Expungement – Section 991c
A deferred sentence expungement allows a person who has received a deferred sentence to expunge their plea. As a result of this process, the status of the disposition of the case will show that the case has been dismissed.
A deferred sentence expungement is easier to obtain than a Section 18 expungement. To obtain a deferred sentence expungement in Oklahoma, a person must complete all terms of probation, including counseling, community service hours, drug treatment, and any other conditions imposed by the court. In addition, the person must pay all fines, court costs and restitution as ordered by the court. The person must have served the entire term of the deferred sentence.
If a person's criminal record is expunged under Section 991c, the public record will show that he or she pleaded not guilty and that the case was dismissed. This expungement will not remove the arrest record, nor will it seal the paper and electronic records of the case. Records related to the arrest and conviction will remain available as a public record.
There is no waiting period for applying for a deferred sentence expungement once the requirements are satisfied. Some people find it helpful to apply for the expungement while they wait for the eligibility time to accumulate for the Section 18 expungement, which seals the full record. The Oklahoma deferred sentence expungement may also be used if a person does not qualify for a Section 18 expungement.
Oklahoma Expungement Lawyer
If you have been convicted with a misdemeanor or felony and want to know if your records can be expunged, please contact the Oklahoma criminal lawyers at the Compton Law Firm immediately. Call 405-542-2529 (542-CLAW) and one of our Oklahoma Expungement Lawyers will help. Read more about our team, or continue reading and researching our free legal information library.