Everybody is talking about getting a criminal record expungement, because clearing your criminal record of a felony, misdemeanor (whether the charges were dismissed or granted a Governor’s pardon) or protective order can totally change your life for the better: job hunt opportunities, for instance, change drastically once you’re no longer limited to jobs without criminal background checks or jobs that hire with a criminal record.
Let’s get our facts straight - here are 6 things you probably didn’t know about Oklahoma Expungement Law:
1. You will not receive a notification from the court or OSBI that your record has been expunged. You have to go & check it for yourself.
If you apply for a partial expungement or a full expungement, to erase your criminal records, Oklahoma’s OSBI will not tell you when the criminal record has actually been expunged. You will have to do a criminal records check to find out for sure that your criminal records have been expunged by the OSBI. An expungement attorney knows this, and will check for you so you don’t even have to worry about finding out.
2. If your record is expunged by OSBI, your FBI record is expunged as well.
Good news! Your expungement attorney cost is worth it, and it’s a two-for-one: not only does an expungement clear your criminal record for life at OSBI, your criminal background check will also come clear at the FBI. Clearing your record at the county and state level will expunge your federal record too, meaning you won’t be limited to applying for jobs for people with criminal records, and you may even be able to apply for government jobs.
3. Your fingerprint records will not be destroyed when your record is expunged.
Many people come and ask “how do you get your records sealed?” While an expungement in Oklahoma will clear your record like it never happened, if you were ever fingerprinted, those records will remain in the files. Although an expungement does seal the records to prevent them from being ever seen, nothing is ever destroyed.
4. You can legally say that "no such thing (criminal act) ever happened" once your record is expunged.
This is the greatest and most beautiful aspect of an expungement, like all expungement lawyers know. Once your youthful mistake has been expunged, you can legally say it never happened - with entire confidence that it won’t show on any public background checks.
5. Expunging your court record & your arrest record are two separate things.
This is a common misconception: many people think that court records and arrest records are the same thing, and that one expungement process and fee will take care of it all. This is not correct. Expunging your court record is technically “free”-- although you may have to pay a filing fee when you petition the court for an expungement. Clearing your arrest records comes at a cost. In Oklahoma, OSBI charges $150 to process your expungement. Make sure you talk this over with your attorney before starting the process.
6. Your juvenile criminal history doesn't count. OSBI doesn't maintain juvenile criminal history information unless the juvenile is certified as an adult by the court.
Expungements are great when you’ve slipped up once or twice in your youth and want to leave those mistakes behind, but if you made those mistakes early enough in your life you might not even need an expungement - OSBI does not keep juvenile criminal records unless the court determined you’d be tried like an adult at the time. If you’re worried about that shoplifting or vandalism booking, you might want to check again - perhaps your record is already clean of it.
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