New Laws Make it Possible to Put Your Past Behind You Sooner
It is difficult to move on from a felony conviction. A criminal record from your past can stigmatize your present and future for years unless to take action to get an expungement. And new Oklahoma laws, passed in 2016, have made it easier to move on with your life. These laws reduce the amount of time you have to wait to qualify for a criminal records expungement and once you get your criminal records expunged, these new laws make it easier to keep those records sealed from everyone.
How Does an Expungement Help?
We all know that many job applications these days not only require a background check but also ask you outright if you have been convicted of a crime. Some ask only about felony convictions. Some ask about misdemeanor convictions as well. Once an employer or potential employer sees a conviction, you may not have a job any longer. That can make it extremely difficult to stay out of legal trouble. A good paying job is a fundamental building block to security, prosperity and peace of mind.
A criminal record expungement makes your peace of mind possible again. To expunge something is to erase it. If you qualify, an expungement seals your records from public viewing. That means that all of your criminal records can be erased as far as the public is concerned.
It’s as if the crime never occurred. Once records are sealed, you are free to say nothing about it to employers. In fact, if asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can lawfully say “no.” Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 19(F). This single action makes it easier to move on with your life.
How Do I Get An Expungement?
It is possible to get an expungement of your entire criminal record. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 18. But be aware that there are several different kinds of expungement. Make sure that you are getting the one that fits your needs.
A Section 18 expungement is the most complete kind. It seals the arrest record, court records and online court records and background checks. It is also more difficult to obtain. Only misdemeanors and non-violent felonies qualify for this kind of expungement. It also requires a complicated petition that is best handled by an experienced Okmulgee expungement attorney. It also requires a significant waiting period.
Before the Oklahoma legislature took action to shorten the waiting time for a criminal records expungement, you had to wait 10 years after completion of your felony sentence to begin the process. New legislation has shortened this time to five years. Waiting times for other convictions vary. Some misdemeanors may be expunged immediately. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 18. Check with your Okmulgee attorney to see if you qualify. Your peace of mind is important.
Free Consultation With an Okmulgee Criminal and Expungement Attorney
It is time to move on with your life and put your past behind you. Bring your expungement questions and concerns to our criminal and expungement attorneys. Just call our Okmulgee office at (918) 756-9600 or toll-free (888) Wirth-LAW for a free consultation at the Wirth Law Office – Okmulgee. Or, enter your legal question or concern in the firm at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will promptly return your message.