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

What is the Difference Between Expungement and Pardon?

15-Aug-2013

When you have a criminal conviction, the record of your offense can make it problematic to find a job, gain admission to a college or university, enter the military, secure a financial loan, or obtain a housing lease. Your criminal history may show up not only in employment background checks, but also in records checks by nosy neighbors who want to know everyone else's business. When your criminal past causes problems in the present, you likely want to find the quickest and easiest way to clear your record so you can move forward with your life unfettered by a crime whose legal debt has been paid.

If you have a criminal record that you want sealed or erased, it is important that you understand the options available to you. When it comes to expungements and pardons, many people do not know the difference between the two, and they do not know which one they should pursue and why they should pursue it.

In their simplest terms, an expungement seals a criminal record, and a pardon is executive forgiveness for the offense. 

There are two types of record expungement in Oklahoma. A Section 991(c) expungement, seals a court record after a deferred sentence and changes the court disposition to read that the defendant pleaded not guilty and the case was dismissed. A Section 18/19 expungement seals both the court record and the arrest record on file with the OSBI. A Section 18/19 expungement is much preferred because it seals all records, essentially erasing the crime. In fact, 22 O.S. § 19(d) says, "Upon the entry of an order to seal the records, or any part thereof, the subject official actions shall be deemed never to have occurred, and the person in interest and all criminal justice agencies may properly reply, upon any inquiry in the matter, that no such action ever occurred and that no such record exists with respect to such person." Unfortunately for many people convicted of crimes in Oklahoma, this type of expungement is much more difficult to obtain, and the petitioner must meet strictly defined criteria in order to be eligible.

A pardon, on the other hand, does not clear, seal, or erase a criminal record. In fact, on its own, a pardon does not affect the criminal record in any way. Rather, a pardon is a way of obtaining official recognition from the governor that the applicant has turned his or her life around. While the criminal conviction will still show up on an employment background check, the person applying will at least be able to say that he or she has been pardoned by the Governor of Oklahoma upon recommendation from the state Pardon and Parole Board.

However, expungement and pardon are not mutually exclusive. In fact, obtaining a pardon can help a person obtain a Section 18/19 expungement. If a person was convicted of an offense committed before he or she turned 18 or convicted of a nonviolent felony, a pardon from the governor will make him or her eligible for record expungement.

If you have questions about pardon or expungement eligibility, procedures, and representation, call 405-778-4800 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Oklahoma expungement lawyer or click here to submit an online case review form.



All News

More News

Could the Oklahoma Beheading Have Been Prevented?
29-Sep-2014

Last Thursday, Moore police responded to an "active shooter" situa..

Ex-Police Chief Accused of Violating Bond Conditions
26-Sep-2014

Being released on bond is not just a matter of paying the bail mon..

Mid-Del Color Guard Coach Arrested for Statutory Rape
22-Sep-2014

The arrest of a young school employee serves as a reminder that Ok..

Tulsa Student Charged with Murder in Shaken Baby Case
19-Sep-2014

A 22-year-old student faces life behind bars after being charged w..

Can I get my federal record expunged?
17-Sep-2014

In previous expungement articles, we have dealt only with Oklahoma..

Adrian Peterson Indicted for Child Abuse
15-Sep-2014

The spotlight is certainly on the NFL and how it treats its player..

Jerry Jones: Sexual Assault or Sextortion?
12-Sep-2014

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is in hot water after someone lea..

With friends like these . . .
08-Sep-2014

Two people in Missouri are charged with voluntary manslaughter and..

Cee Lo Green: It's Not Rape if You Don't Remember
05-Sep-2014

Sometimes, it seems as if Twitter is nothing more than a platform ..

Appeals Court Rejects Appeal in Tulsa High Rise Death
01-Sep-2014

Amber Hilberling was seven months pregnant when she pushed her hus..

×