Criminal Expungement is a legal process that can clear an arrest, charge or minor conviction from your record. Expungement and sealing are often used interchangeably. However, they are carried out quite differently. Expungement erases the documentation while sealing simply means it’s no longer public record.
Countless people are haunted by simple charges and feel the negative impact on their record. From job opportunities to housing applications, it never hurts to learn if you’re eligible for criminal expungement. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing six things you didn’t know about cleaning your record.
- Expunging your court record and arrest record are two separate things.
This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions we encounter. Many people think court records and arrest records are the same. However, a single expungement process doesn’t take care of it all.
While expunging your court record is “technically” free, you may have to pay a filing fee when you petition the court. In Oklahoma, OSBI charges a $150 fee to process expungement. Clearing an arrest record also comes at an additional cost. You’ll also need to factor in any expenses associated with your attorney.
- You won’t receive notification that your record has been expunged.
Keep in mind; you won’t receive a notification from OSBI that your record has been expunged. If you apply for a partial or full expungement, you’ll have to do a criminal records check to find out. Experienced expungement attorneys are aware of this and most will check on this for you.
- If your record is expunged by OSBI, your FBI record is expunged as well.
Criminal expungement can be tricky, but working with an attorney is worth every penny. Not only does an expungement clear your criminal record at OSBI, but your criminal background will also be clear with the FBI.
Having a clear record at county and state levels expunges your federal record as well. As a result, you’ll be opened to a new world of job opportunities and won’t experience the level of setback you did with a criminal record.
- Expungement only gets you so far in the internet age.
When your record is approved for criminal expungement, the court agrees to toss out its record. However, if Google or private websites (such as news archives or online databases) have published information about your criminal history, others may be able to find it even after a record has been expunged. Because of this, it’s important to conduct an online search for your name after expungement so you can have the opportunity to correct the information if feasible.
- Private providers may be holding onto dated information.
In addition to conducting an internet search, potential employers may turn to private companies to run background checks on candidates. These companies download or purchase court records periodically. And, in doing so, run the risk of sharing out-of-date records.
Unfortunately, these databases are in the hands of the private company. However, you may contact them and request to remove the dated information. Be prepared to provide a copy of the court order showing your record has been expunged and be aware that it may take some time.
In addition to private companies, some government agencies may fall behind when it comes to removing criminal records as well. If your record is continuing to show up in a government database, contact them to learn when you can expect it to be removed.
- Once your record is expunged, you can legally say the criminal act never happened.
One of the greatest benefits of criminal expungement is this right here. Once a record has been expunged, you’re legally able to say it never happened (with confidence). Most states allow you to leave the box blank on job applications. However, government and specialty applications may ask about former run-ins with the law even if they’re tossed out.
When your criminal record has been expunged, you no longer have to disclose it when applying for a job or housing. However, if an employer or landlord has stumbled upon any stray information about your criminal record online, be prepared to prove it was expunged.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with Oklahoma laws that govern how others can use information about your criminal history. Because the process of criminal expungement can be complicated, we always recommend enlisting the help of an experienced attorney. To learn more about expungement and whether you might qualify, reach out to our team today at (405) 701-6376.
Are you considering clearing your record?
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