Felony charges on a background check are the scarlet letter of our times. They end opportunities before you even had a chance to begin.
No matter the circumstances, or what really happened, when employers and landlords see felony charges on background check, they have more than enough information to deny the job or deny the lease.
For many people, though, there is a solution: expunge your non-violent felony record!
Oklahoma City Attorney can Expunge your Non-Violent Felony Records
We can expunge your non-violent felony record if your case meets certain criteria. For expungement purposes, the law categories felony cases in these categories:
- Arrested only, no charges filed
- Charges filed, but case dismissed
- Defendant pleaded guilty, deferred sentence
- Defendant pleaded guilty or convicted, suspended sentence or time served
If you were simply arrested but never charged, then you qualify for expungement of your arrest record. In those instances, there is no court case to expunge, only the arrest record.
If you were charged with a crime, but the charges were dropped, you are also eligible for expungement of the arrest record and the court records.
If you pleaded guilty or were convicted, then your expungement falls into two categories: Deferred Sentence expungement; and Suspended Sentence/Convicted Felony Expungement.
How to Expunge your Non-Violent Felony case if you received Deferred Sentence
If you received a deferred sentence, then you will be eligible for an expungement, if you meet the following criteria:
- You received a deferred sentence for a non-violent felony
- You completed all requirements and paid all costs and your case was dismissed
- Five years has passed since the dismissal following the deferred sentence
- You’ve have no felony convictions
- You have no other misdemeanor or felony cases pending
All of the above applies to arrests/charges/criminal cases outside of Oklahoma, as well. So you cannot have a pending case in another state or a felony conviction in another state. However, if you meet these criteria, then we should be able to expunge your record.
Expunge Non-Violent Felony Convictions
Historically in Oklahoma, convicted felons have been unable to use the expungement laws. The legislature has finally changed that.
Beginning November 1, 2018, persons convicted of non-violent felonies will be able to expunge and seal their convictions.
The eligibility is very simple:
- A single felony conviction (defined as one case, even if multiple charges)
- It was a non-violent crime
- No other felony or misdemeanor convictions in last seven years
- At least five years have passed since the completion of the sentence
Meet the above criteria and you will no longer be a convicted felon!
Five years out of the penitentiary and you can expunge your case!
What cases are considered “Non-Violent?”
Non-violent felony cases can include drug charges, bogus checks and embezzlement, concealing stolen property, financial exploitation of the elderly. The crimes seem pretty bad but there are often many innocent explanations. For example, a person could have worked at a big box store, was given an employee discount, and inadvertently used the wrong pass code only to be accused by someone in management of embezzling. Other times, a person could purchase something, without knowing it was stolen, only to later be arrested for receiving stolen property.
The fact that the Judges and Prosecutors agreed to handing out a deferred sentence is often evidence enough that the situation wasn’t as bad as it sounds. But it’s hard to explain that to employers, landlords, and professional associations.
This is why the expungement process exists in Oklahoma.
The Legal Process for Sealing Non-violent Felony Records from Public Access in Oklahoma
The process for expunging a non-violent felony record involves filing a petition in the county where you were arrested or charged and notifying the District Attorney, OSBI and all involved law enforcement agencies of your petition for expungement. From there, we will work with prosecutors, OSBI and law enforcement attorneys on any issues with your case and finally come to an agreement on a final order of expungement that relates to your case.
Once we have obtained approval from all law enforcement departments, we will present your order to the judge for signature.
Once the court has granted the expungement, we will obtain multiple certified copies for you, and to send to all agencies, including the DA, Court Clerk, and OSBI notifying them that your case has been expunged and that they must comply with the Court’s order and seal all records relating to your expunged case from public access.
If you would like a free eligibility screening, simply complete this form. Once we receive your form, we will schedule a consultation. This can be done in person or over the phone, if more convenient. After your initial consultation, you will know exactly how much the entire expungement will cost.