If you live in Oklahoma and have recently discovered that your criminal record is inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading in some way, you may need to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney. If you have been convicted of a crime in the past and would like to clear your record there are certain processes that you need to go through. The act of clearing a criminal record is called expungement, and it is something that can have a huge impact on your life, if done correctly.
What Is Expungement?
Oklahoma law recognizes that the first offense, even if it was a felony, isn’t necessarily representative of a person’s character. Even if you were convicted, there are certain circumstances that a judge may take into consideration that may work in your favor. When a criminal record is successfully expunged, it means that the record is sealed or destroyed, giving the individual a clear arrest record.
How Does it Work?
In Oklahoma, you must petition the District Court in the district that your arrest was made in order to start the expungement process. There are four different types of expungement in Oklahoma:
- Section 18 Expungement (convictions and arrest records). For this type of expungement, your court record and arrest record will become sealed.
- Section 19a Expungement (identity theft). This type of expungement is used when a person has been the victim of identity theft and arrested or charged as a result of this crime.
- Section 60.18 Expungement (protection order). This type of expungement is for victim protective orders.
- Section 991(c) Expungement (deferred or delayed sentences). This type of expungement is pursued when all conditions of a person’s deferred sentence have been met. Only the immediate court records will be sealed.
It is important to note that an expungement is not a pardon for a criminal offense. The offense will still be on your record, though others will not be able to see it and you will not be required to serve any penalties for it. A pardon can only be granted by your state’s governor or President.
There are many reasons why it may be a good idea for you to look into expungement. For one, you will most likely have an easier time finding a job, renting an apartment, or even buying a car. Beyond that, the peace of mind that goes along with getting a fresh start goes without saying and is perhaps the number one reason why you should contact a criminal defense attorney.
Here at Atkins & Markoff, our criminal defense attorneys have the legal experience and knowledge necessary to have your record expunged, giving you a clean slate moving forward. If you don’t want your criminal record to haunt you for the rest of your life, you should take action today and educate yourself about what it takes to expunge a criminal record. It is our goal to help you understand your legal rights and what can be done to wipe a charge from your criminal record. Get in touch with us today and let us help you get a fresh start.