As explained in our last article,a 991c Expungement is a partial expungement that results in your case being “dismissed,” but not fully expunged. This blog post will further discuss the differences between both types of expungement and the benefits of getting your case dismissed under Section 991c.
A full Expungement under Section 18 erases all criminal arrest records in Oklahoma
If you are reading this blog article, you are probably interested in expunging your criminal record in Oklahoma, or at least gathering information for someone you know who needs to expunge their record. For that reason, I want to help you understand all the terms and key phrases associated with sealing a criminal record.
Let’s first start with expungement. In Oklahoma, an Expungement is a full sealing of all records related to an arrest by the police, and any accompanying criminal charges that may have resulted.
Let’s illustrate the paper trail that is created after a person is arrested:
- A person is a arrested by a municipal police department. That means that the City Police Department have a police report and other records (call log, etc) associated with the arrest. The police may take the detained person back to the police station for booking, or they may take to the county jail or Sheriff’s office for fingerprinting, intake, and booking.
- The District Attorney will receive information from the police department or arresting agency, and then decide whether to press charges. If the D.A. files criminal charges, then the Court house will now have a criminal case filing that is open to the public, including on the court’s website OSCN.net.
- All of the above-information is collected by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and compiled into a “criminal history report.” Members of the public can access a criminal history report simply by paying $15.
A full expungement, sometimes called a Section 18 expungement, will erase all of this information from public view. A member of the public will not be able to know that any of this happened and if they go to any of these agencies – police station, Sheriff’s office, Court Clerk, or OSBI – they will be told that no records exist for the person. That is the benefit of a full expungement.
Another benefit of a full expungement is that a person can now legally deny they were ever arrested or charged with a crime. They get the benefit of not only their records beign sealed off from public access, but also the benefit of being able to state on legal documents that the charges never happened.
As I written about before, expungements are game changers that can really improve opportunities for people with criminal records.
But you came to this article because you wanted to know about 991C expungements, so let me now explain how those fit into the big picture.
If you do not qualify for full Expungement, hire an Oklahoma City lawyer for a 991C Expungement
A 991c expungement is a benefit you get from receiving a deferred sentence. A deferred sentence works like this:
You plea guilty. The judge decides not to sentence you but to defer or delay your sentencing for a period of time, let’s say two years. During that two-year period you are on probation and required to follow rules and conditions of your probation. Once the two years are over, and you have completed all conditions of the probation, you are eligible to have your case dismissed under Title 22, Section 991c.
Until you obtain a 991c dismissal, your case will be available online, on the Court’s website at OSCN.net as well as ODCR. Also, your OSBI report will say you pleaded guilty and were given a deferred sentence.
By hiring a lawyer to obtain a formal dismissal under Section 991c, you get two benefits:
- You obtain a finding of non-guilt and non-conviction (very important in felony cases)
- Your formal background check will state the case was dismissed
Hiring a lawyer for a 991c expungement can definitely benefit you, but your ultimate goal should be a full expungement, so that you never have to even disclose or explain the arrest or the charges.
The only reason you would want a partial expungement is because you do not yet qualify for a full expungement.
If you qualify for a full expungement, then you would go for that. Why pay for a partial when you can pay for a full expungement and get the benefit of legally denying that it ever happened? You would only do it if you do not yet qualify for the full expungement.
To be eligible for a full expungement, you must wait a certain period of time after your arrest or charges were filed. The amount of time depends of the outcome of your case.
The eligibility for expungement of misdemeanors is
- immediately eligible if paid fine $500 or less;
- one year after deferred sentence ends; or
- five years after jail sentence, suspended sentence, or fine over $500.
The eligibility for expungement of non-violent felonies is 5 years after deferred ended, 5 years after sentence ended, or sooner if the charges were dropper or never filed.
For more information or to speak to an attorney, call 405-701-6016 or complete this form for a free case screening.