There are many good reasons to want to hide a criminal record from your family members and employers, both present and future. Your past criminal conviction doesn’t need to define you forever, and it makes sense that you want your family and others to think the best of you and not have unnecessary concerns about your criminal record. But, an Oklahoma state conviction can be found through a background check, and so the only way to “hide” your criminal record is to have your past convictions expunged. Not all crimes can be expunged in Oklahoma, but for those that can be expunged, an experienced criminal defense attorney can take you through the process of expunging your criminal record so you can continue on in life without being haunted by convictions of the past.
What Crimes Can Be Expunged in Oklahoma
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a nonviolent felony in Oklahoma, then you can seek to have your conviction and all related records sealed so long as you have:
- served all the terms of your sentence,
- at least 10 years have passed since the end of your sentence, and
- no additional misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against you.
You can also seek to have all criminal records expunged for charges that ended in acquittal or where you received a deferred judgment or delayed sentence and one year has passed since the dismissal of your charges.
Obtaining Your Expungement in Oklahoma
If you are eligible to have your criminal record expunged, then an attorney can petition the court on your behalf to seek the expungement. A judge has the discretion of whether to grant the expungement or not, and will make this decision by balancing the benefits to your privacy of having the records sealed with the potential consequences to society that might occur if your records are sealed. You will have the opportunity to make your case in a hearing before the judge, and your attorney will guide this process and present your best case for expungement.
If the judge grants your expungement, then your records will be sealed, meaning family members and employers (and anyone else for that matter) will not be able to access them, and you will be legally permitted to say that you do not have a criminal record in response to questions from landlords, employers, and others (assuming you have no other unexpunged crimes).
Work With a Former Oklahoma District Attorney in Seeking Your Expungement
Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Patrick Quillian is former Oklahoma district attorney who understands the ins and outs of the expungement process and will advise you on the likelihood of a successful expungement and will take the steps to obtain your expungement if you are eligible. Contact the office of J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, today at 405-896-9768 to schedule a free consultation to see what his team can do for you.