A victim protective order (VPO) is a court order that restricts contact between two people that were previously involved in a domestic relationship. In some states, this is called a “restraining order.” In Oklahoma, we call domestic restraining orders “VPO’s.”
VPO’s are commonly entered in divorce and child custody cases if either side made an allegation of physical harm, and then the VPO case usually stays open until the divorce or custody is finalized.
VPO records are open to the public and to law enforcement, including active VPO’s as well as those that are inactive, expired, or have been dismissed. Any member of the public can access these records online at www.OSCN.net or at their local courthouse.
Even though a divorce may start out as a heated, emotional matter, with accusations flying both ways, many parties are later able to have an amicable relationship with their ex-spouse. Many people do not want their friends, family, neighbors, or even their own children knowing the details of certain accusations that were made in VPO proceedings.
Oklahoma law allows parties to a VPO to expunge the records under certain conditions. An expungement seals the record from public access. Further, once the VPO case has been expunged, the parties can legally deny it even happened. No longer will ex-spouses have to worry about their privacy becoming the talk of the town. Attorney Travis Charles Smith can walk you through the process of expunging your VPO case.
The Process for Sealing Oklahoma VPO Records
Before you can expunge your VPO case, you must verify that the case meets certain eligibility requirements. If you call our office, or send us an email, we can schedule a consultation to verify your eligibility. At the consultation, Travis will review your case and analyze any legal issues that may pop up. After the consultation, you will know exactly how much the expungement will cost.
Once Travis has taken your case, he will begin the process of expunging your record. This involves filing a motion in the original VPO case, notifying the other party (victim or defendant) to the VPO, and notifying the District Attorney. In a VPO case, either party can file to have it expunged, including the victim as well as the defendant or person that was accused.
After filing the VPO and notifying the necessary parties, your case will be set for a hearing. Both the DA or involved party may file an objection in the OKform of a written legal brief or may show up at the hearing to object.
If there are objections, then the judge will hold a hearing to determine whether the privacy concerns outweigh the public’s need to know about the restraining order.
If there are no objections, then the judge will automatically grant the expungement. The best way to ensure the expungement is granted is to take a proactive approach by reaching out to the victim/defendant and asking if they will sign off on the expungement. Travis will take this approach with the District Attorney as well, so that your case can be expedited as quickly as possible, wasting no time.
Oklahoma City attorney seals and expunges VPO records for affordable, flat-rate fee
If you are interested in expunging a VPO case, contact Travis by phone or email. If you have multiple VPO cases, that is ok, as we can handle them all at the same time, whether in a single county or in multiple counties. We may be able to offer you a package deal for multiple expungements.