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.

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

Ada Teen Arrested on Kidnapping, Assault, Arson, and Burglary Charges
23-Jan-2017

Just a month after his 18th birthday, a young Ada man was arrested..

Convicted Norman North Rapist Sentenced for Probation Violation
20-Jan-2017

The Norman North High School student whose alleged acts spurred th..

ICAC Investigation Leads to Arrest of Edmond Man
16-Jan-2017

An investigation by a metro area Internet Crimes Against Children ..

No Trial Expected in OSU Homecoming Crash Case
09-Jan-2017

The case of Adacia Avery Chambers, the driver who plowed her car i..

Oklahoma Prisons: Nation's Deadliest?
06-Jan-2017

U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics data shows that Oklahoma's priso..

OKC Man Sentenced to Life in Toddler's Murder
02-Jan-2017

An Oklahoma City man accused of raping a 2-year-old girl to death ..

How police convince you to give up your right to silence
30-Dec-2016

"You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to ..

Task force says services, not size, the key to fixing OKC jail crisis
26-Dec-2016

The Oklahoma County Jail is overcrowded, its staff overburdened, a..

Oklahoma to Require Anti-Abortion Signage in Certain Restrooms
23-Dec-2016

In case you missed it, Oklahoma is in a budget crisis. Funding is ..

Policy Institute: Oklahoma "Overcriminalizes" Behavior
19-Dec-2016

It likely comes as no surprise to anyone who has been involved in ..

×