Oklahoma expungement reform came into effect on November 1, 2018 with the aim of reducing the waiting period and eliminate the requirement for amnesty before an individual seeks to remove a criminal record. This reform affects those who were previously convicted of non-violent felony crimes.
When Oklahoma first approved the expungement of a nonviolent felony conviction in 2002, the law required a full pardon for the crime. In addition to requesting amnesty, nonviolent felony counts can only be dismissed if the person is not convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony. The law required a 10-year waiting period after conviction of a felony conviction.
Reversal of government dismissal. Mary Fallin signed on April 26, 2018 and changed the waiting period from 10 to 5 years. However, the five-year wait begins after a person leaves prison for a felony. For those who have been imprisoned or probated for more than five years, the new law will extend the waiting period.
The eviction law of 2018 also reduces the waiting time for people convicted of a misdemeanor charge other than a non-violent crime. A felony of nonviolence can now be eliminated seven years after another conviction of misdemeanor.
Until 2015, a person committing a nonviolent felony and a separate misdemeanor was not eligible for expulsion in Oklahoma. That year, lawmakers authorized the eradication of the felony of nonviolence 15 years after a separate misdemeanor. With the reforms in 2018, the waiting period has been reduced to 7 years.
The Oklahoma Expungement Act has expanded dramatically since 2002, when lawmakers approved expungement for a single misdemeanor for the first time in ten years after conviction. Multiple misconducts and even non-violent felonies can now be expelled. Misdemeanor offenses with fines of less than $500 can now be expunged immediately. Waiting times for many beliefs have been reduced from one beginning to the next.
What Happens if the court records are sealed?
People seek to remove court records so they can put legal trouble in the past. Under Oklahoma state law, you can legally answer “no” when asked if you have been convicted of a later erased crime. The law specifically states that a person “can say that such an action did not happen”.
Once sealed, the law states proceedings, arrests, and even petition for cancellation that “the subject’s public proceedings are deemed never to have occurred.”
When court records are removed, they are sealed in the district court or by agencies like the police or probation agency. This means that court records and arrest records are kept safe and no one outside law enforcement can investigate them without court approval. Records must be sealed for 10 years and maybe destroyed after that.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony in Oklahoma, you may be eligible to seal court records. If you did not qualify in the past year or a few years ago, you may now qualify as a result of time and repeated changes in the law.
To learn if you can petition to expunge Oklahoma court records, you can contact expungement attorneys in Oklahoma. Call immediately to request a free consultation with a Tulsa expungement attorney. Call (918) 256-3400