Criminal Expungements in Oklahoma
Expunge, or Expungement, is the term used when a person seals or clears their criminal arrest record. The difference between seal and expunge depends on whether the charges were dismissed or deferred.
Our firm will handle filing the petition in the district where the arrest was made, serving the appropriate parties, and will help protect your future. It is important to note that only individuals who have received deferred sentences will be eligible for expungements. In other words, if you were convicted, there may not be anything we can do for you. If you’re not sure of the disposition in your case, give us a call. We should be able to quickly determine whether we can help you with your criminal expungement in Oklahoma.
The state can object to expungements on policy grounds, if they feel that the public interest in retaining the record outweighs the adverse consequences of keeping the record. In other words, even if a person qualifies, we can object on policy grounds. If you think this may be an issue in the case, we can provide you with a legal opinion regarding the matter.
Many types of offenses may be expunged, ranging from parking fines to felonies. In general, once sealed or expunged, all records of an arrest and/or subsequent court case are removed from the public record, and the individual may legally deny or fail to acknowledge ever having been arrested for or charged with any crime which has been expunged. This is of course, subject to exceptions and for information relating to your specific case.
Criminal Expungements in Oklahoma
The expungement statute has been amended twice in the last several years: 11/1/12 and 11/1/16.
On November 1, 2012, there were several changes to the Oklahoma expungement statutes. Prior to 11/1/12, a person could seek an expungement of a dismissal within one year. Subsequent to 11/1/12, an individual must now wait until the applicable statute of limitations has passed.
Misdemeanor convictions must now wait 10 years following the date of conviction to be eligible for expungement.
Another significant change is that non-violent Felony offenses which were deferred can be expunged if the individual has never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, no charges pending against the individual, and 10 years has passed since the case was dismissed. This was previously not available for non violent felony deferred cases, so this is a great change that will allow certain individuals a second chance not previously available.
In June 2016, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2397, which amended several sections of the prior Expungement of Criminal Records statute. These new amendments primarily focus on changing the wait times for expungement records (which depend on the sentence), separating out misdemeanor fines from misdemeanor suspended and jail sentences, and removing misdemeanor convictions from the expungement analysis regarding deferred sentences.
The amendments did the following:
- Allow expungement for a person convicted of a misdemeanor, if the offense/fine was less than $501 and the person served no term of imprisonment or suspended sentence.
- Allow expungement for two felony convictions, after a Governor’s pardon and 20 years has passed;
- Allow expungement of civil records relating to the underlying criminal arrest;
- Prospectively, limit the listing of date of birth records and social security numbers on court documents;
- Will make expunged DNA records inadmissible in future prosecutions;
- Notify the “Prosecuting Agency” instead of the “District Attorney;”
- No longer disqualify deferred sentence expungements for misdemeanor convictions
We strive to provide our clients with only the best service and representation. Our Tulsa criminal defense attorneys are thoroughly dedicated to representing our clients’ rights and interests. Contact our office by phone at (918)582-1144 or through our online contact form.