Your criminal record can haunt you in several areas of your life, including employment. Prospective employers might check your criminal record and deny you job opportunities based on what they find, even though this practice is considered questionable by many equal rights organizations. Whether it’s a charge you recently fought and lost, or an old arrest from many years ago, you may be able to remove the black mark using the expungement process. Take a moment to view more to see if you are eligible for a second chance.
Expungement in a Nutshell
A defendant goes through the expungement process to get a court order to remove an arrest or criminal conviction. Once the defendant has successfully completed the process, the record no longer exists in a legal sense and the defendant can generally deny it under most circumstances.
In Oklahoma, a Section 18 expungement removes your record entirely. However, under a 991(c) expungement, available to those who had a deferred sentence, the record remains but the case status is changed to reflect the “not guilty” plea and the case’s dismissal.
Qualifying for a Clean Slate
Not everyone who files will qualify for a Section 18 or 991(c) expungement. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation must approve your petition, and you must meet the criteria relevant to your case as set forth under state law. For example, in most cases, you can’t get your prior record expunged if you’re currently facing other criminal charges.
Even if you qualify under the criteria, the OSBI has the right to deny your request on its policy grounds, particularly if it determines keeping your record is in the best interest of the public. While an attorney is not legally required for the expungement process, the OSBI recommends that you obtain legal services if you want to clear your record because of expungement law complexity.