One of the most common types of expungement in Oklahoma is the expungement of a deferred sentence under 22 O.S. § 991c. When a person is serving probation instead of jail during a deferred sentence, probation violation can have an effect on the ability to get a Section 991c expungement. While your chances of ultimately getting your record are not ruined, they may be delayed if you violate your probation during a deferred sentence.
Here is how it works.
A deferred sentence is an alternative to jail or prison for someone whose offense does not really merit incarceration--a first offense or a relatively minor offense can often be penalized by a deferred sentence.
This occurs when the defendant pleads guilty to the charge, but instead of accepting the guilty plea right away, the judge delays judgment and gives a deferred sentence. Instead of jail or prison, the defendant will be allowed to serve probation for a specified length of time. If the defendant complies with the terms of probation, then at the end of the term, the court records will be updated to reflect a plea of not guilty rather than guilty, and the case will be dismissed. The record will then be expunged as follows:
- All references to the name of the defendant shall be deleted from the docket sheet;
- The public index of the filing of the charge shall be expunged by deletion, mark-out or obliteration;
- Upon expungement, the court clerk shall keep a separate confidential index of case numbers and names of defendants which have been obliterated pursuant to the provisions of this section;
- No information concerning the confidential file shall be revealed or released, except upon written order of a judge of the district court or upon written request by the named defendant to the court clerk for the purpose of updating the criminal history record of the defendant with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation; and
- Defendants qualifying under Section 18 of this title may petition the court to have the filing of the indictment and the dismissal expunged from the public index and docket sheet. This section shall not be mutually exclusive of Section 18 of this title.
In the case of a probation violation, things work a little differently.The prosecutor may file a Motion to Accelerate (MTA) sentencing. If the motion is granted, then that delayed judgment is moved up, the defendant is found guilty, and he or she may serve the remainder of the term in jail or prison. The case ends in conviction rather than dismissal, and the record is not expunged under Section 991c.
However, all is not lost. A person may still have record of a misdemeanor or non-violent felony conviction expunged under 22 O.S. § 18. Instead of being expunged quickly after completion of probation, though, the petitioner may have to wait 10 to 15 years to become eligible for record expungement.
For help with record expungement or probation violation representation, contact Oklahoma City expungement attorney Adam R. Banner at 405-778-4800.