It Depends On Some Factors And Facts To Your Case
Video Transcribed: Can you get an expungement for a felony even if it’s pretty old, let’s say 30 years old? Answer is yes, maybe, it kind of depends. It depends on some factors and facts to your case. My name is Ryan Cannonie, I am the Tahlequah criminal defense attorney for Wirth Law Office in Cherokee County. And I wanted to kind of talk about expungement, some questions I’ve got on them about how an Oklahoma expungement actually works.
So when you’re getting an expungement, when you’re looking at getting one, you’re going to definitely want to go get ahold of an attorney because there’s a lot to consider and a lot of paperwork to file and the statutes on them can be kind of confusing sometimes. So I had someone talk to me recently about protective order, not protective order, just did a video on protective orders, about an expungement and had questions about it.
Well, I did the consultation and wait a few weeks, call the person back and they were a little irritated because they told me that Department of Corrections had told them I didn’t know what I was talking about on it. So I went and looked at the statutes.
I even called a friend of mine who does a lot of protective order, pretty much exclusively protective orders and pardons to double check myself. And no, I was right, which feels good anytime you could say that.
My friend and I talked about was how the expungement law has changed so much recently that a lot of people that are not attorneys are giving all this advice that’s incorrect. You hear from people at different courthouse, offices or people on the street say, “No, no, you can or can’t get that expunged.” And they really don’t know. And if you’re not an attorney that looks over this stuff and you may not even know either.
Luckily when I was a prosecutor, I had to deal with some expungement occasionally. So it was a area of the law that I became pretty familiar with. But even myself, I was second guessing myself after DOC is saying, this gentleman wouldn’t qualify, enough that I had to take a step back and check myself to make sure I was right. But when you have a situation where you have a previous felony conviction and you want to get an expungement, you have to fall into a certain type of class.
There’s certain categories that will allow for an expungement, and if it’s not a felony, there’s certain misdemeanor categories as well. So if let’s say it’s something small like a traffic ticket or a small misdemeanor that you didn’t have a suspended sentence, you just ended up paying a fine and costs. If that case you ended up paying fines and costs less than $500, you’re probably going to qualify for an expungement at that point. There’s a statute on that that allows those to be expunged.
Misdemeanors, if it’s been about a year and if you’ve done, you’re suspended or deferred or whatever you had, if you’ve served out your probation and everything’s paid off, you don’t have any pending misdemeanors or felonies, most of the time you’ll qualify there. If it’s a Oklahoma felony, you can get those expunged after a certain time limit. Now, the asterisk on that is there are certain felonies no matter how long you wait, no matter first offense or 20th offense, aren’t going to be able to come off.
For instance, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, violent crimes, or even aggravated drug trafficking. Now it doesn’t mean that you were charged with those. It means that that’s what you were convicted of or pled to. If it’s one of those crimes, then you’re probably not going to get expungement, but hope is not lost. You can always ask for a pardon.
And in fact, if you want an expungement, one thing that you might consider when you talk to your Tahlequah attorney, hopefully when you call us, is maybe looking at a pardon as well, because your expungement is going to get it off your record. It’s going to make it easier to possibly get a job, but you’re still going to technically be a convicted felon until you get that pardon.
Law enforcement can still see you have a conviction so if you get caught with a gun riding in a vehicle with your friend who’s been hunting and they have a gun then that could end up being a bad news for you, especially if the feds get involved with it.
So if you’re considering an expungement, if you have questions about them, we do free consultations. It’s better to talk to an attorney than clearly whoever that person was at DOC that the guy that I talked to spoke with, or your friends down the street, or even someone at one of the windows at the courthouse. It’s better to talk to someone who’s been trained to read statutes. So if this is your situation, then give us a call. You can go to our website, tahlequahattorney.com.
You can get a hold of us through it. There’s a messaging kind of web form you can send us, and then we’ll give you a call back and set up a time and do a consultation with you. And we can do those in person or due to COVID-19, we can do them over the phone too, whatever you prefer. And maybe we can end up helping you in your case. So if this is your situation, give us a call or a message and we’ll see if we can help.