Speeding tickets, arrests or any other kind of misdemeanor with reference to the law is recorded as public information in the US. It is present on your public records, accessible by background check companies, public offices, employers, and academic institutions. Clearly that means that if you have been in a sticky situation with the law at any point, it can influence a lot in your life. The following are some of the problems you can face if you do not have a clean criminal record
- Employers will deny you a job even if you are qualified
- You might have problems obtaining a license for your profession (e.g. medical license to practice as a doctor or a teaching license)
- A foreign country can deny you a visa for travel
- Academic institutions such as colleges or universities might reject your application.
Different kinds of Expungements
Fortunately, the state of Oklahoma allows for expungements that can erase (seal) or change your criminal record (which includes court and arrest records). There are several kinds of expungements allowed in Oklahoma, depending on a person’s criminal record:
- Section 18/19 Expungement allows a person to expunge or seal their arrest/criminal record and also gives them the right to deny that the incident ever occurred. Furthermore, no one but law enforcement agencies can access your record once the court grants/approves expungement.
- Section 991c Expungement is a more limited expungement and is granted to those who were given a deferred sentence and upon completion of their probation period were dismissed by the court without a conviction. Under section 991c an expunged record will show that the person was not found to be guilty and that the court has dismissed the respective case.
Some items on a person’s record might qualify for a Section 18/19 but others might not. 991c expungements are not mutually exclusive to the other: you might be able to obtain an expungement through Section 991 while waiting on the Section 18/19 expungement. For more information on expungements in Oklahoma visit https://www.ok.gov/osbi/Criminal_History/Frequently_Asked_Questions/#Q1
What does this mean for you?
Although a very attractive option, expungements are not easy to obtain. Even if you request your expungement properly, there is a high chance of denial or further interrogation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). There are specific legal requirements and paperwork required to petition for the expungement of your criminal record. Furthermore, different kinds of expungement apply to certain categories of public records (driver’s, criminal etc). Therefore, OSBI highly recommends that you hire an experienced and knowledgeable expungement attorney in Oklahoma to request an expungement on your behalf. Expungement attorneys can advise you on what your best bet can be with reference to your individual record and help you start afresh.
The attorneys at Atkins and Markoff have always worked towards getting their clients what they truly deserve to lead a problem free life. Expungement attorneys at Atkins and Markoff have vast knowledge about the expungement process in Oklahoma and can help you get your criminal record expunged as effectively as possible. Contact us today to discuss your particular case.