What Does “Expungement” It Mean?
Expungement means the sealing of criminal records. Under Oklahoma Law, these records include any arrest records, court records, and/or public civil records, involving actions brought by and against the State of Oklahoma which arise from the same arrest, transaction, or occurrence.
The Best At Expungement Law
With over 30 years of experience practicing expungement law, the attorneys of Stockwell & Clark are the top expungement law attorneys in Oklahoma. In addition to our extensive knowledge of Oklahoma’s expungement statutes and applicable case law, throughout our decades of practicing expungement law, we have created and established positive relationships with the agencies necessary in the expungement process. These agencies include law enforcement agencies all across the state as well as the OSBI. Our years of experience with expungements have equipped us with the knowledge and skill set to get the job done and to ensure it is done correctly. Our success rate says it all! Our attorneys have become experts in filing for and successfully obtaining expungements for our clients. We are so confident in our success rate that we offer a money back guarantee. If we can’t expunge your criminal record, it simply can’t be done.
The Basics of Oklahoma Expungement Law
DID YOU KNOW…THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO CLEAR YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD?
Oklahoma has policies that allow for the expungement of a criminal record in certain instances that will not only make you eligible to remove your criminal record, but to also have your arrest record erased. And just like the drug laws in Oklahoma, your ability to clear your record from a mistake that you’ve made in your past is changing as well.
Many of those who could benefit from an expungement do not even know it. They either don’t know that it is possible or believe they’ve already had their records cleared after the completion of their sentence. Many who are eligible for an expungement don’t realize that they are eligible or they aren’t sure how to get it done.
There are several categories of crimes and sentences that are eligible for an expungement and THOSE CATEGORIES ARE EXPANDING. You could have the opportunity to have your entire criminal arrest records erased as well as your records with the OSBI, Law Enforcement, the Department of Corrections, OSCN, the Court Clerk, ODCR, and the Pardon & Parole Board.
Expungements are a legal process that can clear arrests, charges and some convictions from someone’s record. Although the terms “expunge” and “seal” are often used interchangeably, expungement means to erase such documents while “sealing” simply means they are no longer public record. It’s important to know that there are different types of expungements and you need to be aware of what type you’re getting. Some expungements only take the case off of OSCN and seals the court record to the public. Other expungements can clear your entire record. An experienced criminal defense attorney is essential but an experienced expungement attorney is crucial. With Stockwell & Clark you get both.
DID YOU KNOW…WHY EXPUNGING YOUR RECORD IS IMPORTANT?
If you’ve ever been arrested, you have a criminal record.
Perhaps there is a conviction, charge or even an arrest somewhere in your past. Maybe you think it was a minor law violation, you completed your sentence and can move on with your life. Unfortunately, in the society we live in, the reality is that something like a criminal conviction follows you everywhere, even if it is just a misdemeanor. If you don’t want one mistake to haunt you for the rest of your life, you should learn everything possible about expunging a criminal record. You may not think it’s worth the time, money and effort to get your record expunged. If that’s true, here are 6 reasons why you will definitely want to reconsider.
- Getting a Job
If you’ve ever filled out a job application, you probably remember the section where they ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. This always creates an awkward situation for someone with a criminal record. They can either answer truthfully and risk not getting the job, or lie and risk being in violation of the law once again. If your record is successfully expunged, you should be able to truthfully write “no” in answer to that question. In addition, in this age of internet access to information, an expungement can keep most employers from having access to this information on the internet or if they run a criminal background check.
- Getting a Loan
Some loan agencies think that a criminal conviction is an indication that someone is less likely to meet their financial obligations. That means you may be facing prohibitive interest rates or be unable to get a loan at all. That means difficulty buying a car, a home, or paying for an education. Combine that with difficulty getting a job and you could be in a very tough situation.
Have you ever considered adopting a child? Do you want to adopt one right now? If you do, you may want to look into getting your record expunged. 15 states currently make it illegal for someone with a criminal record to adopt children and many adoption agencies will not accept a person with a criminal record.
Many expungement requests are made by people who wish to obtain a college education or who wish to continue their studies. Some colleges and universities will not admit a person with a criminal record. If you are currently enrolled in the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University or any of the other state colleges in Oklahoma, your ability to continue your studies may be impacted as a criminal conviction may be a violation of the student conduct code of that school. In addition, being charged with any type of crime may put your scholarships in jeopardy. Many universities in this state will take away scholarships from a student who has been charged with a crime. This is just another reason why it is extremely important to hire a defense attorney knows how to handle all aspects of your case.
If you can’t get a mortgage because of a criminal record, you will have to rent a place to live in. However, many landlords also run background checks, which can cause a person not to be able to rent property and live in a decent area. An expunged record can help eliminate this information from view.
- Peace of Mind
The biggest reason we see people wanting to get an expungement is so they can move forward and make progress. Essentially, it’s taking this episode in their life and legally and officially acknowledging by a judge that it’s behind them now. While you have that mark on your record, it’s hard to feel truly free. When you clear your record you have a clean slate. You can feel like a truly contributing member of society, just as entitled to the rights and privileges of a citizen as anyone else around you. Even if you’ve taken your punishment for your offense, it’s sometimes hard to feel like it’s completely behind you while your criminal record is still out there. That is difficult for someone who’s trying to move on and change their life for the better. Although there are many other reasons why expunging your criminal record is definitely to your advantage, the most important one might be your own peace of mind.
At Stockwell & Clark, our years of experience have taught us how to effectively help you expunge your record. We understand how stressful of a time this can be and are here to effectively build a strategy based around expunging your record. If you think you qualify for an expungement, call us and we’ll walk you through your legal options.
Erase Your Criminal Record Today
If you’ve ever been arrested, you have a criminal record. If you have a criminal record and want to know if you qualify for an expungement, call us today and let us evaluate your case for FREE.
Other Expungement Options
Oklahoma law allows for the expungement of criminal records for individuals deemed to be eligible under State Statutes. 47 O.S. 22 § 18 sets out the categories of individuals eligible for an expungement. These categories include: