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New Oklahoma Law Affects Expungement Procedure and Eligibility

A new law set to take effect on November 1, 2012, will have a significant effect on expungement eligibility and procedure in Oklahoma. The legislation is called Oklahoma House Bill 3091, and was approved by Governor Mary Fallin on May 4 of this year. The new Oklahoma expungement law is controversial and has been met …

A new law set to take effect on November 1, 2012, will have a significant effect on expungement eligibility and procedure in Oklahoma. The legislation is called Oklahoma House Bill 3091, and was approved by Governor Mary Fallin on May 4 of this year. The new Oklahoma expungement law is controversial and has been met by mixed emotions from both Oklahoma attorneys and residents of the state. If you have been charged with a crime in Oklahoma, it’s important to understand how this new expungement law could affect you and your ability to clear your criminal record. Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today, and discuss with our team of knowledgeable lawyers how your ability to wipe your record clean could be in jeopardy. Our law firm is located in Oklahoma City, and our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience helping individuals convicted of crimes in Oklahoma start with a clean slate.

What is an Expungement?

When you are arrested for a crime in Oklahoma, there are a number of records of the incident made, including police reports, arrest records, records filed by the court, those made by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), and imprisonment records filed by the Department of Corrections. Unfortunately, all of these records are a matter of public information, and can be viewed by present and future employers and educational institutions, as well as law enforcement officials, should another incident occur in the future. Because of the adverse effects a criminal record can have on an individual’s educational prospects or on his or her ability to gain certain employment, many people choose to file for an expungement in order to clear their record.

Types of Expungement in Oklahoma

There are two many types of expungement in Oklahoma, including the Section 18 and the 991c. Section 18 expungement is typically seen as the more desirable option, because it completely erases arrest, court and OSBI records. If this type of expungement in OK is granted, schools and employers will no longer be able to view those records, even if they opt for a professional background check. A 991c expungement however, is typically easier to obtain and is preferable for many situations. If a person pleads guilty to a crime in Oklahoma, subject to a deferred sentence, their permanent record will reflect the guilty plea. If the deferred sentence is completed according to its terms though, a 991c expungement will reflect a plea of “not guilty” with a dismissal of the case, which effectively eliminates a conviction from the court records.

How the New OK Expungement Law Could Affect You

The new law that will go into effect later this year will change the eligibility requirements for both Section 18 and 991c expungements. As a result, some individuals in Oklahoma may be eligible to file for expungement when they would not have been able to previous to the new legislation. Unfortunately, others may lose their eligibility as a result of the expungement law. For some individuals convicted of a crime in Oklahoma, an expungement is their only opportunity to start fresh and clear their record. However, with this new expungement measure, some people in Oklahoma could face eligibility difficulties when attempting to file an expungement. If you are considering filing for expungement in Oklahoma, contact our qualified criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today. Our lawyers are experienced in helping individuals clear their permanent record, and can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for expungement under the new Oklahoma law.

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