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.
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.
Bad Santa or Naughty Elf?09-Dec-2013
Late last month, a mall Santa was accused of pinching the buttocks..
'Butt-Dial' Uncovers Murder Plot06-Dec-2013
Anyone whose cell phone has accidentally dialed a number without t..
Wanted Sex Offender Caught in Oklahoma02-Dec-2013
A fugitive on the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders (http://www.d..
An Oklahoma City woman has been charged with child neglect after h..
Approximately once each decade, the National Highway Transportatio..
Late last month, a couple was found guilty of murder in the child ..
FBI Wanted Poster Yields Quick Results18-Nov-2013
Last week, the FBI asked for the public's help in identifying John..
A new Oklahoma law pertaining to full expungement of criminal reco..
On May 20, 2013, a violent and deadly EF5 tornado swept through Mo..
Murder Conviction Vacated after 9 Years11-Nov-2013
Four years after the 2001 murder of a newspaper editor on Hallowee..
Typically, the bills passed by the Oklahoma legislature and signed..
Last week, jurors convicted former Oklahoma state Representative R..
Late last month, Canadian County Sheriff's deputies working with t..
Home Invasion Murder Trial Delayed28-Oct-2013
The trial of a man accused of murder when his accomplice was kille..
For some defendants in criminal cases, a deferred sentence is a wa..
In March 2012, a jury in Oklahoma County convicted Billy Michael T..
Deferred Sentence Expungement15-Oct-2013
Jail or prison is not always the best measure of justice, particul..
Only a few months after learning that he is the father of a 2-year..
Human Trafficking Continues to be a Problem11-Oct-2013
This summer, the FBI and federal (http://www.oklahomalegalgroup.co..
They say that all is fair in love and war, and that what consentin..
Former Principal in Legal Trouble Again30-Sep-2013
A former Jay Middle School principal recently acquitted of DUI man..
Understanding White Collar Crimes: Fraud23-Sep-2013
Fraud, at its simple definition, is deception. It is a lie, a misr..
False Rape Claims Undermine True Victims20-Sep-2013
Two recent stories of false rape (http://www.oklahomalegalgroup.co..
Jordan Linn Graham, the 22-year-old woman accused of pushing her n..
Clearing Your OSBI Record15-Sep-2013
If you are given a deferred sentence in Oklahoma, you may have you..
At the end of last month, our blog ran a story about violence in t..
In an appalling show of hatred and intolerance, a neighbor slipped..
No doubt about it, the state of education in the United States is ..
False Rape Accusations 26-Aug-2013
In June, an Oklahoma judge awarded custody of a 6-year-old girl to..
The Insanity Defense in Oklahoma19-Aug-2013
Last week, an Oklahoma City District Court judge found a man accus..
A recent local news story revealed that as many as 78 missing chil..
When you have a criminal conviction, the record of your offense ca..
Harrah police became suspicious of the activity going on behind cl..
Collateral Consequences of Felony Conviction09-Aug-2013
Oklahoma criminal offenses are divided into two categories: misdem..
When he was only 13 years old, Jesil Wilson was present at the sce..
An Oklahoma man sentenced to death row in the murder-for-hire deat..
Running Errands Can Lead to Criminal Charges22-Jul-2013
Everyone knows not to leave a child alone in a car on a hot day. E..
A man convicted of raping his grandson in 2004 has suffered a setb..
If your criminal record is keeping you from getting a good job, pr..
When facing criminal conviction, the prospect of spending years in..
Earlier this week, an Oklahoma City woman was arrested on multiple..
Determining Death Penalty Prosecution08-Jul-2013
Ariel Castro has made a name for himself as the perpetrator of a h..
A Buzzfeed (http://www.buzzfeed.com/joshuazelman/how-responsible-i..
A Tulsa County Special Judge has ruled that a teen accused of firs..
Judge Vacates Own Sentence for Sex Offender21-Jun-2013
For most people, getting a sentence vacated is possible only after..
An 8-year-old boy testified against his mother at her murder (http..
Okahoma Expungement FAQs15-Jun-2013
Expungements allow those arrested, charged, or convicted of certai..
Last week, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Okla..
An Oklahoma City man who testified that he was raped by his grandf..
Jail Officer "Never Expected to Get Caught"03-Jun-2013
In what appears to be a clear case of stating the obvious, a forme..
In a scene that seems made for Cops or Jerry Springer, Oklahoma C..
The YWCA Oklahoma City is an organization whose mission is to help..
DUI Record Expungement17-May-2013
A conviction for driving under the influence creates a criminal re..
In state criminal cases, the first course of appeal (http://www.ok..
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals last week affirmed the life..
In December 2012, the United States Department of Health and Human..
The United States Supreme Court rejected without comment the appea..
Naked Pedestrian Spurs Flurry of 911 Calls15-Apr-2013
Midwest City commuters got an eyeful last week and gave 911 dispat..
Is Your Criminal Record Holding You Back?12-Apr-2013
You have served your time. Your probation is over, and your case i..
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the death sentence g..
Prosecutors and defense attorneys reached a plea agreement in the ..
Last week a Tulsa County jury convicted Amber Hilberling, 23, of s..
An 11-year-old boy and his mother were both arrested in Oklahoma C..
Many Oklahomans who have been convicted of past offenses are plagu..
Oklahoma Sex Crimes in the News11-Mar-2013
They say that March "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb..
An Oklahoma man was sentenced to life in prison last month after a..
When most people think of post-conviction relief, they think of th..
The typical grandmother bakes cookies for her grandchildren, but a..
Edmond Man Convicted in Child Abuse Death11-Feb-2013
An Edmond, Oklahoma, man was convicted in Oklahoma County court af..
A preliminary hearing was held last week for a Tulsa man accused o..
The brutal beating of Officer Chad Peery outside an Oklahoma City ..
Police investigating a disturbance call early on New Year's Day di..
Last week, in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary an..
After being on vacation for only a day, I was informed of the shoo..
A report by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) reveal..
Oklahoma Child Pornography Penalties11-Dec-2012
An Oklahoma airman was found guilty of child pornography charges a..
A registered Oklahoma sex offender was arrested last week in McCur..
A youthful indiscretion or a lapse in judgement can have lasting i..
Internet sex crimes and sex crimes assisted by electronic technolo..
Oklahoma New 2012 Sex Offender Laws26-Oct-2012
There will be a few more laws regulating the lives of convicted se..
Last week, closing a chapter in one of the nation's biggest sex cr..
Oklahoma Child Abuse Cases Rarely Clear-Cut01-Oct-2012
Child abuse cases are among the most vigorously prosecuted crimes ..
An eighty-year-old Oklahoma City man was sentenced last week after..
Criminal Appeals in Oklahoma01-Sep-2012
Both an Oklahoma legislator and the House of Representatives and i..
A Colorado man has been arrested on two allegations of second-degr..
A Midwest City, OK man has been charged with first degree murder s..
The Oklahoma sex crimes defense attorney (http://www.oklahomalegal..
An Aurora, CO movie theater became the scene for a senseless act ..
Oklahoma Strip Club Raid18-Jul-2012
A recent Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office raid on the Little Darli..
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that the "Personhood" initiat..