405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

4 Reasons You Need an Attorney to Handle Your Expungement

17-Jul-2013

If your criminal record is keeping you from getting a good job, preventing you from securing a financial loan, making it difficult to sign a housing lease, or even just showing up in background checks by nosy neighbors, you want your record sealed as quickly as possible to put the past behind you. In some cases, it may not even be a conviction that is holding you back. Your case may have been dismissed on its merits, yet your arrest record still remains, casting suspicion upon you even though you were never convicted of a crime.

In Oklahoma, people meeting certain criteria are able to have their records expunged. A partial expungement (Section 991c) which seals the court record may be available for people who successfully complete a deferred sentence. A full expungement of the court record and OSBI arrest record (Section 18) may be available to people who meet strictly specified criteria.

Oklahoma law does not mandate that anyone petitioning for expungement hire an attorney to represent him or her. However, failing to do so can jeopardize your chances of successfully getting your record sealed. Following are four reasons you need an attorney to handle the expungement of your criminal record:

  1. When you want something done right, you hire a professional. Sure, you could attempt to petition the court to seal your records. But do you know how? Do you know how to write the petition or where to file it? Do you know the relevant law to support your petition? Are you even sure you are requesting the right kind of expungement? For you, filing a petition for expungement is a new experience, and your clean slate lies in the balance. Instead of guessing your way through and hoping for the best, demand the best by hiring an attorney who knows what he is doing. 
  2. Petitioning for expungement is not simply a matter of filling out a form; it is a legal proceeding. In addition to filing the petition for expungement, you must also be present for a hearing. When appearing before the judge and when being confronted by a district attorney, you need someone in your corner who can respond to legal challenges they present and who can meet them on an even playing field.
  3. Even the OSBI recommends that you hire an attorney. When your nemesis knows you stand the best chance of success with a lawyer, you know it is serious. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has the right to challenge your expungement if it believes that the public's right to know about your criminal record is more important than your privacy. If the OSBI makes a policy argument, are you equipped to defend yourself against the challenge? Your attorney is.
  4. You cannot afford not to hire an attorney. The only reason most people consider petitioning for expungement without a lawyer is to try to save some money on attorney fees. However, hiring a qualified attorney is more affordable than you might think. Additionally, petitioning by yourself is not free. You still have to pay certain filing fees and court costs and must even pay a fee to have your record sealed. An attorney can inform you upfront of all the fees so you are not surprised by any hidden costs. Additionally, by removing your criminal history from employment background checks, you may be able to find a better job and quickly earn back the money you spent hiring a lawyer to handle your expungement.

To find out more about expungement eligibility, processes, and costs, visit OklahomaLegalGroup.com or call 405-778-4800 to schedule your free consultation.




All News

More News

Poorly written bill leaves lawsuit loophole; Governor signs anyway
22-May-2017

When drafting legislation, it is imperative that language is clear..

Not Guilty Verdict in Tulsa Police Shooting; Officer's Job Status under Evaluation
19-May-2017

After nine hours of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict o..

Trial Begins in Tulsa Police Shooting Case
08-May-2017

Jury selection begins today in the manslaughter case of Tulsa poli..

Oklahoma Death Penalty Remains on Hiatus
05-May-2017

It has been almost exactly three years since the botched execution..

Oklahoma County Jail Deaths Continue at Record-Breaking Pace
01-May-2017

Last year, the Oklahoma County Jail had a record breaking number o..

Finding Solutions for Mental Illness in Criminal Justice
28-Apr-2017

When it comes to mental health care treatment in the United States..

Catholic Charities Employee Charged with Embezzlement
24-Apr-2017

A Norman woman has been charged with three felony embezzlement cou..

14 Oklahoma Drug Offenders Have Sentences Commuted
17-Apr-2017

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has commuted the sentences of 14 inm..

OKC Man Pleads Guilty to Rape of Child and Murder of Newborn Son
14-Apr-2017

An Oklahoma City man has been sentenced to life plus 20 years in p..

Legislators Pull Felony Drug Possession Bill
10-Apr-2017

When Oklahoma voters filled their ballots in November, they approv..

×