A criminal record sometimes makes it difficult for people to get employment or to find an apartment. People that have moved on in their lives and become model citizens may also want to eliminate reminders of their previous mistakes or at least stop having to repeatedly explain what happened. Expungement helps to make this possible, but it is not a simple matter of just making a formal request.
What is Expungement?
An expungement is typically meant as the process of erasing or destroying criminal records, but it can also refer to sealing records as well. Juvenile records and arrests without convictions are the easiest to have expunged. Expunging adult convictions is more difficult to accomplish.
What is not allowed?
There are some convictions that even Tulsa criminal lawyers usually cannot help their clients to expunge from their records. Murder and manslaughter, rape and sexual crimes against children are not allowed. Some crimes have waiting periods of three to five years before they are allowed to be removed. These include DUI charges, vehicular crimes and drug charges.
What are the responsibilities of the individual?
In order to be eligible to seal or erase a conviction, the individual must have shown a desire to improve their lives. This includes completing the terms of their punishment, following through with any recommended treatment program and not committing another crime since the previous arrest or conviction.
Is a lawyer required to expunge a conviction?
A lawyer is not necessarily required but their assistance is almost always beneficial. The process is often confusing and having an attorney will eliminate simple mistakes, like paperwork errors, that delay the process. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney even if the crime is something that seems ineligible for expungement. The laws change frequently and exceptions are sometimes allowed.
Sealing or erasing records will not change the past. The government can order records be unsealed when someone applies to them for employment. It will also not erase news reports or memories of an incident. It is possible the details of certain crimes could still be discovered during an online background search.