An arrest or criminal conviction can negatively affect your life long after your sentence has been served. Depending on the severity of the offense, a past run-in with the law can follow you around like a shadow and greatly limit your employment and housing opportunities in the future, as well as affect certain liberties such as your ability to receive professional licenses or hold public office. Fortunately, some individuals may be able to have their criminal histories wiped clean through a process known as expungement. But how exactly does this process work in Oklahoma?
What Is an Expungement?
An expungement or expunction allows you to have your arrest records, court records, incarceration records, and background check entries erased or changed, making it hidden from certain public agencies, background check companies, and prospective employers. Likewise, an expungement allows you to deny that a criminal incident ever occurred, thereby protecting you against being discriminated against based on your criminal history.
Who Is Eligible for an Expungement?
In the state of Oklahoma, requirements for expungement will vary depending on the type of crime and whether or not a person was convicted of a crime or received deferred adjudication. Anyone who was not convicted of a crime and was given a deferred sentence must have the disposition of their case updated to reflect the dismissal before being eligible for expungement. Misdemeanors, felonies, and DUI convictions are all expungable 10 years after the conviction as long as all other criteria are met. Individuals convicted of violent crimes or who are classified as repeat offenders may not pursue an expungement, and arrest records must be expunged independently from criminal records.
How Can I Pursue an Expungement?
You must file a petition with the court in the district where your arrest was made in order to have your record expunged. Since the expungement process is notoriously difficult and success is not guaranteed, it is imperative you retain the services of a powerful attorney in order to maximize your chances of success.
You will be asked to provide the following information when preparing your petition:
- The date of your arrest
- The arresting charges and all charges filed
- Amendments to your case
- Concluding disposition of your charges
- Pleas and case dismissals
You must provide the district attorney, arresting agency, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation with at least 30 days’ notice before a hearing will be set to review your petition, at which time you must be prepared to answer any questions from the prosecutor, judge, and anyone else relevant to your case. Afterwards, if the presiding judge believes that it is in the best interest of both you and the public to have your record expunged, your petition will be granted.
Seek a Clean Slate Today – Call (866) 590-8173
At the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, our Norman criminal defense attorneys understand that sometimes good people can find themselves in difficult situations. Having been protecting the accused for more than 50 years combined, we have what it takes to guide you step by step through the expungement process and get you on the road towards a new future.
Fill out an online form today to schedule your confidential case review.