Expungement and Eligibility Requirements.
So, what is an expungement in Oklahoma, and perhaps more importantly, who’s eligible for one? Hi, I’m Oklahoma City Attorney Aaron Easton, and today that’s what we’re going to talk about. So, if you’ve been convicted of a crime in the state of Oklahoma, you’re probably already aware that the completion of your sentence, whether that be a deferred sentence or a suspended sentence or you actually spent time in jail or in prison, the negative effects of that conviction don’t go away when that sentence is complete. In fact, those negative consequences can follow you around for years or even your entire life. It can affect future employment, background checks, international travel, and a whole list of other things.
So if you’ve completed a sentence, if you’ve discharged from probation or parole, and you’re ready to move on, ready to get a fresh start in life, an expungement can be a way to do that. You know, often expungements are confused with, you know, sentence commutations or pardons, but they’re different than both of those. And what an expungement does is it essentially wipes a previous conviction and or arrest off of your record, allowing you to move on with your life.
Who is Eligible for an Expungement?
So going back to that really important question, more than what is an expungement, who’s eligible to get an expungement? And that’s really the key question here, right? So as a lot of things with the law, it can be a little confusing. Article 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, Section 18, actually provides 16 different ways in which somebody previously convicted of a crime in Oklahoma can get that expunged. It can be a little confusing for the layperson, and it depends, as you might guess, on whether the conviction was a misdemeanor, whether the conviction was a felony, how long ago, what type of sentence. There’s a lot of things that go into it. But there’s really a path forward to expungement for almost everybody.
Now while it is true that there are certain crimes that are ineligible to be expunged, there’s often a process to get those expunged as well by first getting a pardon for that crime and then moving to the expungement process. In fact, a gubernatorial pardon is one of the 16 ways that is listed in that Title 22, Section 18 that we just talked about.
Consultation for Expungement Eligibility
So if you’ve been convicted of a crime in the state of Oklahoma, you or a loved one, and you’re curious whether or not you might be eligible for an expungement and how to go about, how to go down that path and start that fresh start that you’ve long wanted and waited for, I would highly suggest talking to a legal expert, talking to an attorney in the area that can give you some sound legal advice on that. And if those are answers you’re seeking, my firm would be happy to help you out on that. We provide free consultations to determine whether or not an expungement might be right for you. Please reach out to me if that’s something you’re interested in. You can get me on the phone at (918) 932-2833 or at postconviction.lawyer.