For An Expungement, You’re Filing A Civil Case
Video Transcribed: How much should an Oklahoma expungement cost? Hi. My name is Ryan Cannonie. I’m an expungement attorney In Tahlequah Okla. And, when I get calls about expungements, one of the first questions people ask me is, A, “Can I get one? Is this possible?” But the thing that comes right after that is, “So what’s the cost going to be?”
Now, if you exclude the attorney fee, which, depending on what’s going on, can be anywhere between $1,500 or up. It depends on how many cases we’re talking about, how many counties. There are some factors there.
So, excluding what you’re going to pay for the attorney, which, no matter who you would go…who you go to, you’re going to have to pay an attorney. There are additional costs associated with expungements.
Now, some attorneys will bundle all these together. Other attorneys tell people, “Hey, look, these are just going to be on top of everything.” I usually let people know right up front, “Here’s what some of the costs are going to be, and just pay those. Or we can expend some to you as we go.”
So, your first cost, after your attorney, is going to be your filing fee. Now, for an expungement, you’re actually filing a separate case. You’re filing a civil case, basically suing Oklahoma, the State of Oklahoma, OSBI, to get your records expunged.
And, so, that filing fee has to be filed in district court. So, that’s around $164.14. That’s going to be pretty standard for most of the counties I work in. That’s what it is just about everywhere around here. So, that’s your first cost, is going to be that filing fee. That doesn’t go to your attorney. I don’t get to keep that. That goes to the Court Clerk’s office.
The second thing you’re going to have to think about is service fees, meaning the cost to send those documents out. Now, some attorneys charge, some don’t. Most of the time, I include that in my fee, unless we’re talking about sending it out to dozens and dozens of entities.
Most of the time, it’s usually only like five different agencies we’re actually having to send stuff to. So, I don’t really have too much of a problem with that, especially if they take it by email. A lot of them don’t necessarily need formal service. They’re fine taking these by email. And, so, it just kind of depends on that situation, but you could have some filing cost in there.
Now, your other costs on this. Before you even file, I guess I should have backed up on this. Before you even file, one thing you’re going to want to do is to get a background check, because you don’t want to pay an attorney, go through all these filing fees, then it turns out there’s something out there preventing you from getting an expungement because you have maybe a warrant on a case you didn’t know about, or there’s still something out there that hasn’t been paid, that you didn’t know about, that your attorney didn’t know about.
So, with these background checks, you can do one with OSBI for $15. We have someone in our office who can check those for just a dollar more and get it back, usually same day, within just an hour or so, depending on how busy she is, and that’s $16.
So, so far, let’s keep a tally. You’ve got 15 to 16 for the background check. You’ve got 164.14 for your filing fee, and possibly some service amounts, and that’s mailings, certified mail mailings. So, is that it?
Unfortunately, no. There’s at least one more thing you’re going to have to worry about paying on this. And that is Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation charges a fee to actually expunge everything. So, you can send everything to them.
You can get an order. But to actually have the process done, you have to pay them $150. Once, again, it doesn’t go to me as your attorney. That goes to another place. It goes to the OSBI. And, so, you have to send that to them.
Now, when we’re discussing all this, there are all these different costs. What do they add up? Well, if you don’t take into account the filing fees. I’m not adding those in. Those, as I said, are just kind of dependent on the situation. We’re looking at $330.14, on top of the fee.
So, these aren’t cheap. But one thing that I like to remind people is, it’s…yeah, it’s $330.14, and whatever the attorney fee is, but this is a way to get these criminal acts off your history. So, it keeps people from looking it up. And I know some people like that just for their own peace of mind, knowing that people in their community can’t look up and see something stupid they did when they were younger, or their kids being able to look it up and find it out and see what mom or dad did when they were … had no kids and maybe were in college and just…and didn’t think things through. But there are other reasons too. Employment is a big thing.
So, yes, it is kind of expensive when you start looking at it. But you have to think of it more as an investment, rather than a cost, because it’s not just like this money’s going out there, and nothing happens. This money goes out there, and you’re able to expunge these acts from your record.
And then, when people do background checks, they’re not going to see them. So, that’s the benefit of an expungement. If you have questions, if you have concerns about expungements, if you want to try to get one, give us a call. Go tahlequahattorney.com. Let us know. We can help. Thank you.