People make mistakes every day. Unfortunately, some of those mistakes result in an arrest and criminal prosecution. A criminal case on your record can cause you years of hardship. It can impede your ability to find employment, as well as housing. The good news is that Oklahoma law may allow you to get an expungement.
Generally speaking, a 991(c) expungement involves the court sealing the public records related to your criminal case. How much of your records will remain viewable to the general public depends on what type of expungement you seek and are granted.
Section 18 vs. Section 991(c) Expungements
The legal and real-life effects of these expungements are not equal. Section 991(c) expungements are only available if you have received a deferred sentence from the court. Deferred sentences are typically given as part of a plea agreement with a defendant that does not have an extensive criminal record. If you receive a deferred sentence and meet all of the conditions set by your plea agreement, your criminal case will be dismissed. Despite entering a plea agreement, a Section 991(c) expungement will alter your criminal record so that it reflects “pled not guilty, case dismissed” as opposed to guilty.
Section 18 expungements, known as “full expungements,” are broader. You don't need to have entered into a deferred sentencing agreement to receive the expungement, but you must meet certain criteria to qualify. Once granted, the court records related to your arrest and conviction will be sealed and your file with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) will be closed.
What happens to my criminal record with a Section 991(c) expungement?
If your request for a Section 991(c) expungement is granted, the general public will not be able to see your case record. A Section 991(c) expungement does not erase all evidence of the case against you. Unlike a full expungement, a Section 991 (c) expungement will not erase the record of your arrest. What's more, it will not cause your OSBI file to be sealed.
How are my records affected?
Once your request for a Section 991(c) expungement is granted, your criminal case will not be available to the public through the court clerk or www.oscn.net.