A criminal record can begin at any age, and for many people, it can be detrimental to securing jobs or a future with a clean slate. Whether you are convicted or not, at times, your history may continue to haunt your prosperity. Updating your record is to your benefit, the Oklahoma law states that to update your record, a certified copy of your final disposition of your arrest or a certified copy of your deferred dismissal is needed.
At Worden Law Firm, we take your criminal record expungement very seriously because it can make your life significantly easier. As of 2016, Oklahoma has made it easier to expunge your criminal record because a conviction should not haunt you after you have paid your debt to society.
Basically, when you expunge your record, your criminal record will be sealed from the public. In Oklahoma, juvenile offenses, nonviolent felony offenses, misdemeanors, and deferred or suspended sentences can be expunged:
- Juvenile offense: when you are convicted under the age of eighteen, and you have stayed out of trouble since then.
- Nonviolent felony offense: you can receive a pardon if you have no further criminal offense within an established.
- Misdemeanors: within an established period if you have not committed another criminal offense.
- Deferred or suspended sentences: once the time period has elapsed that was described in the sentencing and you complete the terms and conditions.
Furthermore, as mentioned, a criminal record can haunt you in all aspects of your life. In the United States, unfortunately for many, your punishment does not end the day your sentence does. You may be left with a long list of “do nots” and a small list of “can dos.” Collateral consequences of a criminal record include:
- Ineligibility to vote
- Legal restrictions
- Ineligibility to receive federal or state aid, i.e. food stamps
- Difficulty finding a suitable job
- Housing issues
- Social pressures
In depth, when you apply for a job, your employer may do a full background check and if a criminal record of any sort pops up, they will pass you over for another candidate, even if you are more qualified. Regardless of the kind of felon you are, the government does not allow convicted felons to own firearms, which is adding to a civilian burden for unmonitored guns, however, even those who need them for protection or becoming a police officer are impacted.
The steps to expunging your record can be tedious and require time. For many individuals, a subsequent arrest for a particular crime may result in more severe penalties if convicted. Also, we advise you to always remain within the law during the expungement process, because if you were previously charged with an offense, then later charged with a new offense, you will be prevented from filing for an expungement until the new charge is resolved. Hence, delaying the process or further diminishing the chances.
Once you have a criminal record of any kind, it is your legal right to know if it can be expunged. If you are looking for an expungement lawyer in Oklahoma, contact us at Worden Law Firm for your expungement needs.