In the language of law, it is called expunction or expungement. In popular parlance, it is often called having your court records sealed. In Oklahoma, a person arrested for a crime or convicted on criminal charges in certain circumstances can petition a court to seal their records. One of those circumstances involves a misdemeanor conviction more than 10 years earlier.
An unpublished opinion handed down from the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals cast new light on the definition of what is a misdemeanor in Oklahoma as it effects petitions to seal old court records. The June 4, 2014 decision resulted from an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) appeal of an expungement granted by the District Court of Oklahoma County.
At issue was whether a 2004 Edmond Municipal Court conviction for disorderly conduct precluded expungement of arrests in 1998 and 1999. In many circumstances, to qualify for an expungement the person must not have an additional misdemeanor conviction or felony conviction. Other court cases have looked into what qualifies as a conviction in reference to expunge records. (See Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 18(7)).
On appeal of the Oklahoma District Court’s approval of the expungement petition, the OSBI argued that the man’s 2004 conviction in municipal court for disqualified him from having his arrest records sealed. The Court of Civil Appeals disagreed.
City of Edmond municipal code classifies violations as either misdemeanors or offenses. Disorderly conduct in Edmond is classified as an “offense” — not a misdemeanor – the Court of Civil Appeals concluded.
Although the Court of Civil Appeals decision did not elaborate on how the Edmond court disposed of the man’s conviction in 2004, it did note that some municipal convictions are automatically eligible to be sealed. The court cited Okla. Stat. tit. 11 § 27-122.1(B), which says modified, reduced, suspended or deferred municipal sentences involving probation of six months or less shall be expunged.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Expungement Attorney
An arrest, deferred judgment or criminal conviction in Oklahoma may not have to become part of your permanent record. If you have charges or offenses on your record you would like expunged from public records, contact a Tulsa expungement attorney at Wirth Law Office for a free consultation.
To talk with a Tulsa criminal attorney about expungement in Oklahoma, call (918) 879-1681 or send your question using the form at the top of this page.