Expungement is the process where you can have your criminal records sealed, and they will be inaccessible to the general public. In Oklahoma, you may have your criminal records expunged under certain conditions.

If your criminal records have been expunged, anything in the record will be deemed never to have happened. If anyone asks you about anything in the records, you will be allowed to say, that nothing in the records ever occurred, and that the records do not exist. Also, anyone asks a law enforcement agency about anything in the records, the law enforcement agency will be allowed to say that nothing in the records ever occurred, and that the records do not exist.

If your records have been expunged, then employers, schools, and state and local government agencies and officials, will not be allowed to make you tell anything in the expunged records. No one can deny you any job or school application because you refuse to talk about anything in an expunged record.

If your records have been expunged, then, in general, your records cannot be unsealed, unless there is a court order to unseal the records. If the records have not been unsealed, within 10 years of the expungement order, the records may be obliterated or destroyed at the end of the 10 year period.

To have your criminal records expunged, file a petition in the district court in the district where the records are located. Click here for a map that tells which judicial district you are in. You will have to pay a filing fee. After you file your petition, the court will set a hearing date. You will then have to send 30 days notice of the hearing to the prosecuting attorney, the agency that arrested you, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and any other government agency that may have information related to the record. You may need to hire a lawyer to help you with this process.

At the hearing, the court will decide whether the harm to your privacy outweighs public interest in keeping the records unsealed. If the court decides that harm to your privacy outweighs public interest in keeping your records public, then the court may seal (or limit access to) your records.

Only certain people can file a petition for expungement. In general, in Oklahoma, you may file a petition for expungement if:

1. You have been acquitted;

2. Your conviction was reversed with instructions to dismiss by an appeals court, or an appeals court reversed the conviction and the prosecuting agency subsequently dismissed the charge;

3. After you were convicted, DNA evidence showed you were innocent; (If DNA evidence shows you were innocent, you can have your filing fee refunded.)

4. You have received a full pardon on the basis of a written finding by the Governor of actual innocence for the crime for which you were sentenced;

5. You were arrested and no charges of any type, including charges for an offense different than that for which you were originally arrested, are filed and the statute of limitations has expired or the prosecuting agency has declined to file charges;

6. You were was under eighteen (18) years of age at the time the offense was committed and you have received a full pardon for the offense;

7. You were charged with one or more misdemeanor or felony crimes, all charges have been dismissed, you have never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against you, and the statute of limitations for refiling the charge or charges has expired or the prosecuting agency confirms that the charge or charges will not be refiled; provided, however, this category shall not apply to charges that have been dismissed following the completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence;

8. You were charged with a misdemeanor, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, you have never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against you and at least one (1) year has passed since the charge was dismissed;

9. You were charged with a nonviolent felony offense not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, you have never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against you and at least five (5) years have passed since the charge was dismissed;

10. You were convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you were sentenced to a fine of less than Five Hundred One Dollars ($501.00) without a term of imprisonment or a suspended sentence, the fine has been paid or satisfied by time served in lieu of the fine, you have not been convicted of a felony and no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against you;

11. You were convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment, a suspended sentence or a fine in an amount greater than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), you have not been convicted of a felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against you and at least five (5) years have passed since the end of the last misdemeanor sentence;

12. You were convicted of a nonviolent felony offense not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, you have not been convicted of any other felony or separate misdemeanor in the last seven (7) years, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against you and at least five (5) years have passed since the completion of the sentence for the felony conviction;

13. You were convicted of not more than two nonviolent felony offenses, not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, you have received a full pardon for both of the nonviolent felony offenses, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against you, and at least twenty (20) years have passed since the last misdemeanor or felony conviction; or

14. You have been charged or arrested or is the subject of an arrest warrant for a crime that was committed by another person who has appropriated or used your name or other identification without your consent or authorization; or

15. You were charged or convicted for a prostitution-related offense, and you committed this offense as a result of being a victim of human trafficking; or

16. You have completed the conditions of a deferred judgment. (You may qualify for expungement under this paragraph AND paragraphs 7, 8, or 9. However, even if you don’t qualify for expungement under paragraphs 7, 8, or 9, you still may qualify for expungement under this paragraph. And, even if you don’t qualify for expungement under this paragraph, you still may qualify for expungement under paragraphs 7, 8, or 9.)

If your records were expunged under paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14, then law enforcement agencies will still be able to see your records without a court order. However, the public won’t be allowed to see your records without a court order. If your records were expunged under paragraphs 4, 6, 12, and 13, your Pardon and Parole Board records will also be sealed. However, if your records were expunged under paragraphs 4, 6, 12, and 13, the Pardon and Parole Board will still be allowed to see your records without a court order.

Click here, here, here, and here, to see the state law about who can have their records expunged. Click here to see how to get your records expunged.