You have a criminal record. You know it. You lived through it, and remember every part of it: the handcuffs when you were arrested; sitting in the police car; being fingerprinted and booked at the police station; those hours you sat in jail waiting to get bailed out; going to court and having the judge stare at you as you pleaded guilty and were sentenced.
But does anyone else know about it? How could they?
Technology today allows information to be shared more easily than ever before. Here is how the public at large can find out about your past criminal record.
Oklahoma Courts post criminal cases online
All district courts in Oklahoma post their dockets online at OSCN.net, a website that for Oklahoma Courts.
And many municipal courts post their information online, such as the Oklahoma City Municipal Courthouse.
Anyone can, for free, visit these websites and enter in your first and last name and wait to see what comes up.
There’s also another way that the public can learn about your record: running a background check with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. This is how most employers, apartment complexes, licensing boards check on a potential applicant’s criminal history.
To run a criminal history report with OSBI, all the requestor needs is the name of the individual, although the report is more accurate if your run their SSN and DOB. This report costs only $15.
Hard to advance in a Career with a criminal record
As most people learn when they transition from “job” to career,” – that is, from just a place that pays them money to a company where they can see themselves working long term, with opportunities for pay raises and benefits – these types of employers run background checks to verify that the employee does not have a criminal history. This is common place among many companies today, large, midsize and even smaller businesses.
Difficult to rent housing in Oklahoma with a criminal record
If you have a criminal record, you will have a very difficult time finding a place to live unless you intend to purchase your own house. Renting a house or renting an apartment means you have to be approved by the landlord to sign a lease. Nearly all landlords and property management companies that manage residential real estate run criminal history reports on all potential tenants before leasing the property.
The landlord who rents to a person with a criminal record is, unfortunately, the exception and not the rule.
This trend is even worse in bigger cities, where finding affordable housing is even more challenging and more competitive than it is in Oklahoma.
How to solve the problem: expunge your criminal record
There is a solution to this problem: expunge your criminal record. An expungement is a court process that seals your record from public access, removes it from all publicly available databases – online web pages, physical copies at the court house and police stations, and the state database that is shared nationally with the FBI and other states.
Once you have made the decision to expunge your case, you are on your way to making your own life easier and full of more opportunity. And we want to help you do that. Here is your checklist:
First, make the commitment! You are deciding now that you will expunge your record. You are making a commitment to be successful!
Second, pre-qualify yourself by doing your own research. Can you expunge your case now? Or will you have to wait a year or two? You can review our articles on expunging misdemeanors and felonies, DUI cases and marijuana cases.
Next, you will want to figure out how much it will cost you and what lawyer you would like to hire to complete the process.
Hire Travis Charles Smith to be your expungement lawyer.
If you have completed step #1, which is nothing more than making the decision to expunge your case, then we can help you do the arrest. We can pre-qualify you, quote you a price, and get your case expunged in a relatively short amount of time, without you having to do anything at all other than hire us. Our clients do not have to come to court and we arrange everything by email or phone correspondence.
Just complete this form.