Can I Have My Criminal Record Expunged?

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
Expungement

So you've got a record.  And now you've turned your life around... except for the record.  Human Resources says that hiring you violates company policy.  What can you do?

As with all criminal matters the best advice for you is fact-specific and should be tailored to your case.  But generally speaking, for Oklahoma charges your options look like this:

(1) Expungement.  There is a procedure to have your criminal pleas and arrests expunged.  That is removed from public view.  Under some circumstances even the police will not know what happened, but, if you get an expungement people doing background checks on you (like employers and schools) will not.  You are eligible for expungement in Oklahoma if you meet the criteria set out in Section 18 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes (our additions or explanations are in bold):

"1. The person has been acquitted;

[The defendant received a trial and was found not guilty.]

2. The conviction was reversed with instructions to dismiss by an appellate court of competent jurisdiction, or an appellate court of competent jurisdiction reversed the conviction and the prosecuting agency subsequently dismissed the charge;

[The defendant was found guilty at trial, but the conviction was reversed and the prosecutor declined to retry the matter.]

3. The factual innocence of the person was established by the use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence subsequent to conviction, including a person who has been released from prison at the time innocence was established;

[The defendant was exonerated by DNA evidence.]

4. The person has received a full pardon on the basis of a written finding by the Governor of actual innocence for the crime for which the claimant was sentenced;

[The defendant was found guilty, but received a pardon from the Governor because they were actually innocent.]

5. The person was arrested and no charges of any type, including charges for an offense different than that for which the person was originally arrested, are filed and the statute of limitations has expired or the prosecuting agency has declined to file charges;

[The defendant was arrested but never charged with the offense for which they were arrested and the Statute of Limitations has expired.]

6. The person was under eighteen (18) years of age at the time the offense was committed and the person has received a full pardon for the offense;

[The defendant was young and the Governor pardoned them.]

7. The person was charged with one or more misdemeanor or felony crimes, all charges have been dismissed, the person has never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and the statute of limitations for refiling the charge or charges has expired or the prosecuting agency confirms that the charge or charges will not be refiled; provided, however, this category shall not apply to charges that have been dismissed following the completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence;

[The prosecutor filed charges but they were later dismissed without a guilty plea by the defendant and either the Statute of Limitations has run on them or the prosecutor has promised not to refile them.]

8. The person was charged with a misdemeanor, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, the person has never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and at least one (1) year has passed since the charge was dismissed;

[The defendant plead guilty to a misdemeanor and received a deferred sentence and waited one year after the deferred sentence was completed and has been on good behavior ever since.]

9. The person was charged with a nonviolent felony offense, not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, the person has never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and at least five (5) years have passed since the charge was dismissed;

[The defendant plead guilty to a felony, but not a violent one, received and completed a deferred sentence, and waited five years.]

10. The person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense, the person was sentenced to a fine of less than Five Hundred One Dollars ($501.00) without a term of imprisonment or a suspended sentence, the fine has been paid or satisfied by time served in lieu of the fine, the person has not been convicted of a felony, and no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person;

[The defendant was convicted of a misdemeanor and received only a small fine and has been on good behavior since paying their fine.]

11. The person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense, the person was sentenced to a term of imprisonment, a suspended sentence or a fine in an amount greater than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), the person has not been convicted of a felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least five (5) years have passed since the end of the last misdemeanor sentence;

[The defendant was convicted of a misdemeanor and paid a large fine or was sentenced to jail (whether they actually went or not), and has waited 5 years since the end of their sentence while being on good behavior.]

12. The person was convicted of a nonviolent felony offense, not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the person has received a full pardon for the offense, the person has not been convicted of any other felony, the person has not been convicted of a separate misdemeanor in the last fifteen (15) years, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least ten (10) years have passed since the felony conviction;

[The defendant was convicted of a nonviolent felony and has received a pardon and has been good for at least 15 years since their conviction, but maybe longer.]

13. The person was convicted of not more than two nonviolent felony offenses, not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the person has received a full pardon for both of the nonviolent felony offenses, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least twenty (20) years have passed since the last misdemeanor or felony conviction; or

[Same as before but if the defendant committed two felony offenses then they have to wait 20 years at least instead.]

14. The person has been charged or arrested or is the subject of an arrest warrant for a crime that was committed by another person who has appropriated or used the person's name or other identification without the person's consent or authorization."

[The defendant had their identity stolen and this resulted in the charges.]

If you find yourself in need of assistance to have your record expunged or to receive a pardon call us today.  We are state wide with reasonable rates and excellent results.  (405) 601-9393.

 

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