In Oklahoma, you can expunge a felony conviction if certain requirements are met. Those requirements include:

  • The felony was non-violent
  • The sentence ended five or more years ago (single conviction), or
  • The sentence ended ten or more years ago (two convictions)
  • No charges are currently pending

The next question many people ask is what is considered a non-violent felony? While there is not a list of non-violent felonies, there is a list of violent felonies. That list can be found in Title 57, Section 571 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Violent felonies involve physical harm to another person, or involve some element of a serious threat of harm, usually with a weapon of some sort.

Non-violent felonies therefore take a very wide range of crimes, and include theft crimes, drug crimes, and fraud/misrepresentation crimes.

Differences between Violent and Non-Violent Crimes under Oklahoma Expungement laws

In Oklahoma, you can expunge misdemeanor crimes, without having to differentiate between violent and non-violent. So misdemeanor assault and battery can be expunged. But the felony versions of that crime, such as Assault and Battery with a dangerous weapon, cannot be expunged, as they are considered violent.

As explained below, there are several difference categories of crimes that involve various levels, some can be expunged and some cannot.

Assault and Battery crimes: misdemeanor versus the felony versions

Domestic Violence cases are another area where the big distinction is between the misdemeanor version and the felony version of the crime. Misdemeanor domestic assault and battery can be expunged. But as of November 1, 2020, the felony versions of domestic assault and battery cannot be expunged, which include:

  • Domestic Abuse by Strangulation,
  • domestic assault with a dangerous weapon,
  • domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and
  • domestic assault and battery with a deadly weapon

Previously, these crimes were not listed among the  official list of violent felonies in Oklahoma.

Differences among the types of Theft Crimes affect eligibility for expungement in Oklahoma

Most crimes that involve theft can still be expunged if they meet the other expungement criteria, such as the time since the sentenced ended. But there are some exceptions. First Degree Burglary makes the list of “violent crimes” as does burglary with explosives.

All forms of Robbery are considered violent, since robbery is defined as using force or fear to take another person’s property. Whereas all forms of larceny can be expunged, since larceny is taking someone’s property but not with the use of a weapon or threat of violence.

Burglary is usually defined as some sort of theft crime that involves either breaking or entering into a premises with the intent to steal. Second Degree Burglary can be expunged, but not First Degree.

Some Crimes that are not actually violent are still listed as violent under Oklahoma Law

There are several crimes on the list of violent felonies which don’t actually involve physical acts of violent.  

The crime of “Eluding a Peace Officer” is actually a misdemeanor crime, so persons who have been convicted of eluding the police – which involves either speeding up, or turning off your lights, when signaled to pull over – can still expunge the crime from their record.

However, Eluding the Police becomes a felony if the eluding person either endangers the lives of others or causes an accident or causes injury while eluding the police. These felony versions are listed among the other violent felonies and cannot be expunged.

Another crime that is not violent but falls on the list is the crime of Aggravated Trafficking.

Trafficking is the crime of bringing into the state, or distributing or manufacturing within the state, illegal controlled substances of a certain quantity. The Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act provides the quantities necessary to make the crime considered “trafficking.”

The difference between trafficking and aggravated trafficking is simply the quantity involved. What is interesting is that neither crime involves violence toward another, yet the crime of aggravated trafficking is listed among the “violent” felonies in Oklahoma, therefore disqualifying it from expungement.

Some crimes against the elderly or handicapped can be expunged, while others are not eligible

Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult makes the list of violent felonies, though there are other crimes against vulnerable persons not on the list. Financial Exploitation of the Elderly can be expunged, as can certain other crimes involve nursing home patients.

When assessing any of these crimes, you look at the Judgment and Sentence issued by the Court, not the original Information (charges) filed by the District Attorney.

The list of Violent Felonies in Oklahoma

As of November 1, 2020, the “Violent crime” means any of the following felony offenses and any attempts to commit or conspiracy or solicitation to commit the following crimes:

Contact Oklahoma Expungement Lawyer Travis Charles Smith

If you have questions about getting an expunge, or you would like to get started now, send us an email or call our office at 405-724-8112.

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