There are two types of expungement in Oklahoma, one being a partial expungement that results in the case being labeled as “dismissed,” and a full expungement which results in the case not appearing in public records at all. This blog post will explain everything you need to know about Oklahoma expungement laws.
What is a full expungement of criminal records in Oklahoma?
A full expungement of criminal records is a process where the Judge orders that all court clerks and law enforcement agencies completely seal a person’s criminal record shut. This process is authorized by law in Title 22, Sections 18 and 19 of Oklahoma Statutes, and is sometimes referred to as a “section 18 expungement.” When I use the term Expungement on my website; I am referring to the real deal, full expungement.
The effect of a full Expungement is that all records related to the crime are completely sealed shut. This includes:
- Booking photos and Fingerprints
- Probable cause affidavits
- Search Warrants
- Arrest records
- Court records and criminal sentencing documents
These records will be sealed shut and not available to the public. The resulting effect is that any public search of government records will come up blank. Government records will not show anything after the expungement. A background check with OSBI will say “no records were found.”
Best of all, you can legally deny it ever happened. Essentially, you are innocent, were never charged, never arrested, and cannot be discriminated because of it.
All of the above are the benefits of getting a full expungement. Now, I will discuss what options you have when you do not qualify for a full expungement.
Dismissal and Partial-Expungement under Section 991C
If you were found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor, but were given a deferred sentence, that is good news. Because eventually we can expunge your case!
The benefit of a deferred sentence is that the judge did not convict you; instead he simply delayed your sentencing and put you on probation. Once your probation is complete, the Judge dismisses the case.
The problem is that your arrest and charges will still be found in public records and on a background check. You will not be eligible for a full expungement until one year after probation was complete (if it was a misdemeanor) or five years if it was a felony.
But, in the mean time, we can file a motion to dismiss and expunge pursuant to 22 O.S. 991c. This is called a “991c Expungement.”
The benefits of a 991c Expungement:
- Your sentence is changed to not guilty;
- The case is dismissed;
- A background check will still show the charge, but will say: “not guilty, case dismissed.”
- The case will be removed from OSCN.net
- The local courthouse file will be expunged and not accessible
With a 991c Expungement, you cannot legally deny the charge, but you can state that you were not convicted and the case was dismissed. So you may still have to do some explaining.
The good news is that if you qualify for a 991c expungement, then you will definitely qualify for a full expungement, it’s just a matter of time.
To recap, if you received a deferred sentence for a misdemeanor, you are eligible a 991c expungement the day your probation is over, and a full expungement one year after that.
If you received a deferred sentence for a Felony, you are eligible a 991c expungement the day your probation is over, and a full expungement five years after that.
If you have any questions at all, send me an email.