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The two types of Oklahoma expungement

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Expungement is the name of a specific type of process involving criminal records. The details are different for every state.

In Oklahoma, there are two main types of expungement. Both have the effect of sealing records to the public. Their names correspond to their sections of the law: Section 18 and Section 991(c).

Section 18: sealing the entire arrest record

Section 18 expungement cases are relatively general. Most offenses could potentially be eligible for expungement, typically with the exception of violent felonies.

There are many different rules within this law. Due to this complexity and the various court procedures and schedules that one must follow, people usually elect to take a strategic approach to their Section 18 expungement.

Section 991(c): deferred sentences

People who have deferred sentences could be eligible for expungement of their criminal records under Section 991(c). Unfortunately, for those unfamiliar with the way that the Oklahoma legal system works, this procedure often causes some confusion.

One of the most common issues is that people expect the court to seal their records automatically. When they check after completing their deferred sentence, they find that the record remains.

Additionally, an expungement under this section does not seal arrest records. It only has the power to update the record to expunge the plea of no contest or guilty and state that the court dismissed the case.

Because of these and other laws, dealing with a criminal record is often part of a holistic criminal defense strategy in Oklahoma. The more you understand about the case, its context and the details of your record, the more successful you are likely to be in pursuing your legal goals.