Life gets a bit off track sometimes, such as the time a police officer pulled you over in a traffic stop and you wound up facing DUI charges in court. You didn't think you had to worry about conviction because you'd only had a small amount of alcohol to drink that evening; however, you could tell things weren't going your way when the police officer said you failed the field sobriety test. You'd never been in trouble with the law before that day.
Since then, you've heard tell about a process called expungement. This is when the court agrees to erase a conviction from your criminal record; in fact, it can extract any details regarding the unfortunate incident. No one (although there may be a few exceptions) will ever again be able to view your drunk driving conviction in your file.
How does the process work, and how do you know if you're eligible?
Not everyone is eligible for expungement. Many Oklahoma residents turn to experienced criminal defense attorneys to seek legal clarification before heading to court. The following list provides a brief overview that explains the basic facts about expungement, as well as how to determine if you're eligible:
- When the court expunges your criminal record, it erases details of your criminal conviction history so they are no longer accessible for public viewing.
- Another way to explain the expungement process is to say that it seals your criminal record.
- If the court approves your application for expungement, other agencies, such as the office that booked you, the department that arrested you or the detention facility that housed you under sentence of a conviction will also receive notice to seal any records they might have pertaining to your criminal history.
- If your conviction relates to a sexual offense of any kind, it is highly unlikely that you will be eligible for expungement.
- The court takes various issues into account when deciding whether to grant an expungement. Such issues might include, but are not limited to, the amount of time that transpired since your conviction, the nature of the events that led to your conviction and any other pertinent information from your past criminal history unrelated to the particular incident for which you seek expungement.
If you fulfill a sentence under conviction of a crime, such as DUI, a drug offense or any other criminal infraction, it can have long-lasting negative effects on your life even though you satisfied the terms of your sentence. Obtaining gainful employment, renting an apartment or even restoring your good standing in your own community can be quite challenging when you have an existing criminal record. If you seek expungement, the record is no longer available for viewing, which, in turn, can eliminate potential stress down the line.
Many Oklahoma residents ask experienced criminal defense attorneys to assist them when they file applications for expungement, as an attorney is familiar with all processes related to the criminal justice system.