Criminal Records Affect Gun Rights
Video Transcribed: Why do you want to get your criminal records expunged in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa Expungement Attorney, James Wirth, and that is the topic is why do people want to get the records expunged? Why maybe do you want or need to get your records expunged? We’ve handled hundreds of expungement cases in the State of Oklahoma, and in representing those clients, we’ve got lots of reasoning behind why people want to get their records clean. So I want to go over some of those reasons why people come to us to get their records expunged.
The first one we hear about is job opportunities. A lot of times the people already are going to school. They know they’re going to need licensing. They know they want to get into a certain industry and they know that they want to get that expungement done before that time so they retain us ahead of time to try to get it out of the way because they know that they’re either going to be prohibited from having that job based on that conviction or it could be something that comes up just in background checks and it’s discretionary, but they don’t want that HR person or that boss that’s making the hiring decisions see that prior criminal record. So the first one is a job.
The second one is housing. If you’re looking at getting an apartment, background checks are done, those things are going to pop up and that could be applicable to protective orders as well. A lot of protective orders are eligible for expungement, so that’s something to look into. The second one, we hear then is housing.
The third one, dating. A lot of people are out on the market, maybe they’re on dating sites. They don’t know who the other person is. They don’t know who they are. A lot of times that means they want to look into them. So if you’re talking about typical court records on OSCN or ODCR, anybody can search those in two seconds for free and find out that information.
That goes for protective orders as well. A lot of times we don’t see more comprehensive background checks that have to be paid for or buying OSBI background checks if it’s just for dating situations, learning about the person you’re getting to know. But that’s a risk as well, so that’s a big reason why people want to get those prior criminal convictions expunged.
Next one we hear about. For their kids. A lot of people, their kids are starting to get older. They don’t want their kids knowing about their prior criminal record. They’re getting to the age they might start doing their own Google searches.
So they want to get that knocked out so that they can have their kids proud and know that they’re a good person and they can forget about and wipe clean the slate of when they had youthful indiscretions.
The next one is gun rights that we hear. This one’s a little bit less clear. There’s some debate right now on whether an expungement in Oklahoma restores your gun rights. I would argue that it does.
OSBI is objecting, and we need that appealed to a higher court to make that determination because that’s a relatively new issue. Only since 2018 could you get a felony conviction expunged without getting a pardon, so now there’s a question of whether that fully restores your rights.
I think that’s going to be resolved in the near future. I think it’s going to be resolved in the favor of the expungement, getting your rights restored because when you get a Section 18 expungement in Oklahoma, what the law specifically says is that event never occurred. You can honestly answer that it never occurred, so how can you be prevented from having your constitutional rights for something that never occurred? Well, I don’t think you can, but if you’ve got that question, you can ask OSBI about it because they’re the ones that are making an issue of that, but I think that’s going to be handled later.
Another one is just to clean up your public record before you pass on. We literally get older people that call us, and they’re worried about what their reputation is going to be when they pass away, what their legacy is going to be. They’ve got these convictions on there, and they want that sealed up before they pass on. That’s a serious consideration for them, and they retain us to resolve it for that reason.
The other thing is that you’ve got to know is that people just don’t want this in the public record. I mean, it’s not just the convictions that are public records in the court records. I mean, dismissed cases show unless they’re expunged as well. So even if you have a dismissed case, there could still be a PC, a probable cause affidavit, in there that has the specifics on why you were arrested and that’s public record, open to anybody. Protective orders as well. It’s not just that somebody filed a protective order. Maybe it was dismissed or filed a protective order, and it was granted.
Also, the petition is a public record. Anybody can go down to the court and say, Hey, let me take a look at that petition and see all the allegations that were made against you even if it was dismissed. It’s not a good look so that’s another reason people contact us for expungements.
So with all these reasons together, that’s caused a lot of people to come out. We’ve had hundreds of cases where we’ve gotten the records clean, giving them a clean start. If that’s something you’re interested in or you have a question about eligibility, or you want to know how the law applies to your circumstances, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney privately and confidentially about that. To get that scheduled with somebody in my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.