Disclosing an Expunged Felony

Do I Have to Disclose an Expunged Felony in a Deposition?

What to Know About Disclosing an Expunged Felony in a Deposition

If you’re working through the process of expunging your criminal record, you know how overwhelming and nerve-wracking it can be. It can seem like an enormous task or even impossible. You’re bound to have some questions along the way. At some point, you may have to answer questions at a deposition. But do you have to disclose a previously expunged felony during the testimony? We’re here to answer your question! 

So, do you have to disclose an expunged felony during a deposition? According to Oklahoma’s Statutes Title 22 Section 18, you can legally say that you do not have a criminal record. No one can make you reveal what is in your expunged records. Additionally, no one can deny you a job or housing because you refuse to disclose your records.

However, just because your history is hidden from the public doesn’t mean that it’s hidden from everyone. Law enforcement and other authorities may still have access to your criminal record. So, if you were to testify in court, law enforcement would be able to see your expunged records. They may use that information to discredit your testimony. 

Keep reading to learn more about whether or not you should disclose an expunged felony during a deposition.

Oklahoma’s Statutes Title 22 Section 18

Oklahoma’s Statutes Title 22 Section 18 covers the procedure and qualifications for expunging someone’s criminal record. It states, “records expunged … shall be sealed to the public but not to law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes. Records expunged … shall be admissible in any subsequent criminal prosecution to prove the existence of prior conviction or prior deferred judgment without the necessity of a court order requesting the unsealing of the records. Records expunged … may also include the sealing of Pardon and Parole Board records related to an application for a pardon. Such records shall be sealed to the public but not to the Pardon and Parole Board.”

If you want a Section 18 expungement, you’ll need to appear at a hearing where a judge will decide each case before making orders. 

Expungement Explained

Expungement is the removal of a record from public view. Most expunged records are related to an arrest or a conviction. If you have your record expunged, it will be removed from the public eye unless you permit them to view it. Depending on your situation, law enforcement and other certain authorities may still be able to see your record. 

Expunging your criminal record can help you in many areas of your life. Having a criminal record can make it harder to get a job, rent an apartment or home, and get or keep public benefits. That’s why it’s an excellent idea to try and erase a criminal record if you can. The best way to pursue an expungement is to work with an Oklahoma expungement lawyer.

Who Can Expunge Their Criminal Record?

Whether or not someone can expunge their record depends on their situation. It will also depend on your conviction. Here are a few things to take into consideration: 

  • You are not eligible if you were convicted of a violent felony.
  • You might be eligible if you were convicted of a non-violent felony. This may require you the first get a pardon, depending on your situation.
  • If you’ve received a suspended sentence, you may also need to get a pardon first. This will also depend on your situation.
  • Talk to a lawyer about your situation if you received a deferred sentence for a non-violent offense. You may qualify without having to get a pardon first. 
  • You may qualify to have the arrest and court records expunged if it was a misdemeanor.

 

The laws regarding expungement are complicated. That’s why it’s best to speak with lawyers who are familiar with Oklahoma law and your situation. A lawyer will help you determine if you qualify for record expungement.

How Does Felony Expungement Work?

If they decide that you are eligible for the expungement of a felony from your record, here are the steps you’ll follow:

  • File a petition at the court clerk’s office in the county where the charges were filed. 
  • You’ll receive a hearing date when you’ll go to court and answer the judge’s questions.
  • Before that hearing, you’ll serve a copy of your petition to the district attorney, the agency that arrested you, and the OSBI (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation).
  • At the hearing, the judge will expunge your record if you meet all of the following:
    • You meet the legal requirements.
    • If they find that the harm to your privacy outweighs the public interest in keeping the records available to the public. 
  • If the judge agrees to expunge your record, they’ll make an order to remove them from public view. They may also decide to remove only some of your records or limit who can access them. 

 

To determine whether you qualify for expungement, you must get a copy of your complete criminal history report. That information, along with the court records, will determine your eligibility.

If you think you qualify for expungement, you should talk to a Tulsa lawyer. When you speak to someone, ensure that you bring a copy of your OSBI record with you to the meeting. If you are low-income in Oklahoma, you may qualify for free legal help through the Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. 

If you require Legal Aid’s help, a lawyer or volunteer lawyer will review your OSBI Criminal History Record to see if your record qualifies under Oklahoma’s expungement record. 

Does Expungement Remove All Records of the Crime?

No, deleted records will still be available to private sector records, such as newspaper reports. Law enforcement will always be able to see your history. When you have your record expunged, it’s simply removed from public view.

This means that you wouldn’t see your record when looking at online records on OSCN or ODCR or going to the courthouse. A 991(C) expungement will remove the record from public record, and the OSBI record will report: Plead Not Guilty, Case dismissed. 

All other types of expungements will remove the arrest or conviction record from the OSBI Criminal History Report. Their report will read: “no such record exists.” Any convictions, charges, or arrests that are not eligible for expungement will still appear on your record. If you are charged with another crime, law enforcement will be able to see your previous record.

This can be used as proof of a prior conviction or deferred sentence. Any newspaper or online reports from private sources will still be available. 

If you have an upcoming deposition and you are curious to know more about whether or not you should disclose your expunged felony, it is important to contact a lawyer. With their expert advice, you can alleviate the stress or anxiety you may otherwise experience leading up to your deposition. Learn more about how to prepare for a deposition here!

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