A criminal record may impact your life in ways you cannot fathom. As time passes, however, and the reality sinks in, you should consider whether trying to get a judge to expunge the record is plausible.
Not all criminal records qualify for expungement. Take a quick peek at a few basics.
What does expungement do?
A record expungement erases aspects of your case from the public record. If done properly, you may no longer have to disclose your criminal history when prompted on certain applications, such as those for work. Oklahoma law allows for two possible expungement types: A Section 991(c) process for someone with a deferred sentence and a Section 18 to seal an arrest record.
What qualifies for expungement?
Some aspects of a criminal charge you may not realize will remain in the public domain. An arrest, for instance, will continue to appear in public searches, even if a charge never materialized. Charges that resulted in an acquittal or a conviction that a judge later overturned may qualify. If DNA evidence cleared you of a conviction or you received a pardon, you may want to apply for expungement.
Not every charge or conviction qualifies for expungement under the law. For instance, a judge cannot expunge a violent felony record. Some non-violent felonies may also not qualify.
The only way you will know for sure whether your particular situation applies to an expungement application is to gain the insight of a professional who understands how the system works. The sooner you get answers, the quicker you may move forward with a clean record.