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Cleaning My Criminal Record aka Getting an Expungement

A frequent question I get is regarding “destroying any type of criminal record” a person has. Once someone is arrested the public record is already beginning. From the time the police make their report, to the charges that are sent to the Prosecutors office, to the paper work that is filed with the Court Clerk and the Judge and finally the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (O.S.B.I.) there is a lengthy record of criminal conduct all from the most simple of charges.

The main concern people usually have it how will that record affect their life in regards to; a job, going to school, renting a house, buying a house, or even dating. After all when you trying to impress someone it’s probably not the best pick up to mention you’ve been arrested before (Unless of course they like the bad boy/girl). The point is most people want to obliterate their criminal record if possible.

The answer is YES! It is possible to destroy the public records of any arrest by filing an expungement.  An expungement is a civil remedy to a criminal problem. An expungement is a legal document that is filed in regards to a particular case that will ask for a Court Order to destroy some or all records of your criminal history. There are (2) different types of Expungements for criminal cases…

I usually compare the two types to cleaning the kitchen counter with soap versus cleaning it with bleach.  When something is cleaned with soap the counters surface is clean but there is often a a bacterium or germ still somewhere around the surface. Conversely, when the counter is cleaned with bleach the surface is cleaned and the bleach has killed any and all remnants of germs or bacteria.

“The Soap Expungement”

Section 991 (c) of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes is an expungement statute that seals criminal records after a defendant has completed a deferred sentence. This expungement seals the records that are posted online and made available through the court clerk’s office.

“The Bleach Expungement”

Section 18 and 19 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes is an expungement statute that seals the criminal records after various criteria are met. However, this expungement not only seals the records that are posted online and at the clerk’s office, but also the records maintained by the District Attorney’s office, the jail, the arresting agency, and OSBI. This type of expungement is considered more thorough way of cleaning a record but is of course more rigorous to attain.

The “Quasi-criminal” VPO/PO EXPUNGEMENT

A lesser known but equally important expungement is the expungement of Victim Protection Order cases or (VPO’s) or (PO’s).. VPO’s and PO’s are what are known as “quasi-criminal” cases. Since these cases do not have criminal liability attached to them unless a court order is violated the court have called these cases “Quasi-criminal” because the case has elements of criminal and civil procedure and foundations. This type of case can be exceptionally annoying but also harmful. Often an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or sometimes even spouse files a VPO against you but you’re successful in winning your case in front of the judge. Technically, the case was dismissed but the paper work that shows the case was filed against you is still for the public to view. It can be humiliating and the last thing you want is to have your new significant other to find the record or even a co-worker to spread office gossip about you.  Under Title 22 section 60.18 the VPO/PO records can be expunged upon petition of the court. Like with the (2) criminal expungements mentioned above certain elements must be met and the record can be obliterated.

 

If you or someone you know is interested in seeking an expungement of their record contact Eric Bayat at the Bayat Law Firm. Online questionnaires are available at www.Bayatlaw.com to find out if you eligible for an expungement. Eric is directly able to be reached at 405-413-2100.

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