When Old Convictions Get in the Way, Get Help
We all make mistakes. You have served your time, paid your fines, and done everything that the court has asked of you. Now it is time to get back to your life and do some repair and rebuilding of your home and professional life.
You expect to get a job and a decent place to live, but it isn’t as easy as you had hoped. Your conviction keeps creeping up on background checks conducted by potential employers and landlords. They smile sadly at you and shake their heads and wish you luck instead of giving you a job or a place to live. This can make life difficult, but there is something you can do.
With the help of an experienced Tahlequah expungement attorney, you may be able to seal those records so that they no longer appear on background checks.
Get an Expungement Faster: New Legislation
Oklahoma has taken a hard look at the rate of return to criminal activity sentence completion within the state. Studies show that fitting back into society successfully after jail is a key component in not returning to criminal activity. In an effort to reduce the rate of return to criminal activity and further jail sentences, the Oklahoma legislature has passed new legislation.
There was a time when you would have had to wait at least 10 years after you had completed your jail term before you could petition the court for an expungement. In 2016, Oklahoma passed new laws, reforming the expungement statutes to make expungements easier and quicker to obtain for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.
Although post-conviction waiting times vary, some expungements can be obtained in a relatively short time, and some, immediately. Waiting times vary, but your Tahlequah expungement attorney can help you understand which waiting time applies to your conviction, and if you qualify, can help you take the necessary steps to obtain an expungement.
How an Oklahoma Expungement Helps
An expungement is the sealing of your criminal records from public view. This is the same kind of sealing of records that juvenile offenders receive. And in both cases, the sealing of records can help you move on.
Once those records are sealed from public view, it is as if the conviction never took place; at least that is the case if your expungement is a criminal records expungement. A criminal records expungement seals all of your criminal records, including your arrest record.
A deferred sentence expungement is different. Both types of expungements have their uses and both have differing qualifying criteria.
A criminal records expungement is only available for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. It also requires a formal pleading drafted by an experienced attorney, specific court procedure and service of process upon all interested parties, and a hearing. However, the benefits of this type of expungement are many. Therefore, it is well worth your time and an attorney’s skill.
In contrast, there is a deferred sentence expungement. A deferred sentence expungement is easier to obtain, but often requires an attorney to follow up to make sure the expungement is entered properly. This type of expungement should be entered by the court as soon as you comply with all aspects of your deferred sentence.
With deferred sentence expungement, your record will say that you pled “not guilty” and the case was dismissed. However, your arrest record remains intact and available for public viewing. This type of expungement can be helpful if you are waiting to obtain a full criminal records expungement or if your underlying conviction doesn’t qualify for a criminal records expungement.
This is such a complicated area of the law that you should bring your questions and concerns to an experienced Tahlequah expungement attorney. Get your expungement matters handled right the first time and move on with your life. You deserve it.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Expungement Attorney
Call us today. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys will help you move on and put your past behind you.
For a free consultation with a Tahlequah, Oklahoma lawyer, call 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.