Expungement: Closing The Door On Your Criminal History
It’s no secret that, in the age of the Internet, it is harder than ever to hide your past. A criminal record is quick and easy to find, and it can make it difficult or impossible to get hired, find a place to live, get into college or be eligible for federal student loans. In short, a criminal record can damage your future long after your charges have been resolved.
Thankfully, there are some options available in Oklahoma for clearing your criminal record. When you contact B. Hall Law, our attorney can help you pursue expungement to either change or seal your official criminal history.
There are two types of expungement in Oklahoma, and they are discussed below.
Comprehensive Expungement Through Title 22:18-19
If you qualify for this type of expungement, you can have your arrest records and court records completely sealed (viewable only by members of law enforcement) and background check entries erased. You can also legally deny that you were ever arrested or prosecuted for the offense which was expunged.
Because it is comprehensive, this is usually considered the ideal form of expungement, but not everyone qualifies for it (or qualifies immediately). The details of your case and your entire criminal history must be considered, so it is important to work with an experienced lawyer to determine if you are eligible to file.
Deferred Sentence Expungement Under Title 22:991c
This statute applies to deferred sentences which have been dismissed. Under 991c, you may be able to remove and/or alter some publicly available information about your case. The arrest record would remain unaffected.
Although it is not comprehensive like 18/19 expungements, a 991c expungement is still valuable. First, it may be your only option if you cannot qualify for an 18/19 expungement. Second, it can be used to improve your criminal record while you await eligibility on an 18/19 expungement.
Laws Keep Changing, So Work With An Attorney Who Stays Current
Expungement laws in Oklahoma are regularly changing and can be complex. Therefore, it is important to work with a lawyer who understands these laws in granular detail and can ensure that you take advantage of all available options. That’s what you’ll find when you work with attorney Brian D. Hall.