Great news for anyone who has ever been convicted of a minor crime – the majority of crimes can be expunged. Expungement is a court-ordered process that basically erases any record of an arrest of criminal conviction. In some cases, this process is called “setting aside a criminal conviction”. While many crimes can be expunged, there are a handful of more serious crimes that can never be removed from an individual’s record, such as:
- Aggravated indecent liberties
- Criminal sodomy
- Sexual battery
- Child abuse
As a general rule of thumb, any crime that involves sex, children, or death is going to be nearly impossible to get expunged. Expungements can be quite complicated, regardless of how old you are or what state you live in. Many people mistakenly believe there is a certain number of years that must pass for a criminal conviction to automatically expunge itself. However, criminal charges never automatically disappear from a person’s record. The only way to remove them from your criminal record is to file for an expungement, which is not an easy process.
Common Misconceptions About Expungements
Before we look at a few of the different types of expungements, let’s go over the common misconceptions about expungements. Contrary to what many people think, juvenile records are not automatically erased after a period of time. Many people confuse criminal records with driving records, assuming a youthful mistake that resulted in a criminal charge will simply disappear with adulthood. However, the only way to remove a juvenile conviction or misdemeanor charge from your record is to file an expungement with the state of Oklahoma. It is important to note that just because you file for an expungement does not mean it will be approved. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has the right to deny your request. In many cases, expungements are denied because of a minor paperwork mistake or other processing issue. Because of this, it is generally recommended that you hire an expungement attorney to ensure no steps are missed during this process.
What Types of Expungements Are There?
Some examples of cases that may be eligible for expungement include the following:
- People who have had the charges brought against them dismissed
- People who have completed a deferred judgment and sentence or diversion program
- People who have been acquitted of charges thanks to the assistance of an attorney
- People who have been wrongfully accused of a crime
These are just a few of the most common examples of cases that can be expunged according to federal law. Keep in mind that while there is no specific timeframe where a record can be expunged, there are certain timelines in place that can help guide people on when their charge is eligible for expungement. Remember, you always need to file for an expungement, it is never something that takes place automatically.
Some of the most common types of records that people file for an expungement are juvenile records. There are a few requirements in place that you must meet before filing for an expungement of a juvenile arrest or criminal record, including:
- If the verdict is in your favor, you can file an appeal for expungement immediately
- After one year has passed and you have completed a juvenile diversion program, you can file for an expungement
- After four years have passed, if the court has dismissed jurisdiction or you have been released from commitment, you can file for an expungement
For more information on the ins and outs of filing an expungement or to learn more about the various types of expungements, please contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our Oklahoma expungement attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have and make sure you understand your rights, whether you were charged with a crime as a juvenile or an adult.