What are the chances of winning an appeal in Oklahoma?

If you have been accused of a crime and convicted by a jury of your peers (or a judge) at trial, you have the right to appeal this decision and attempt to prove your innocence in another trial.

In some instances, even if you are acquitted, the other side may file for an appeal and you may be dragged into court again.

For this reason, it’s important for your attorney to be aware of and considering appeal throughout the entirety of your case. 

But how does the appeals process work, and what are your chances of winning? 

What is an appeal?

The Oklahoma statutes regarding appeals states:

A defendant has the right to petition as a matter of right from any judgment against him, which shall be taken as herein provided; and any decision of the court or intermediate order made in the progress of the case may be reviewed … The Court of Criminal Appeals may take jurisdiction of any case for the purpose of correcting the records when the same do not disclose judgment and sentence; such jurisdiction shall be for the sole purpose of correcting such defect or defects.

In other words, if a party in a court case believes the court made a wrong decision, they can ask a higher court (called an appellate court) to hear the case again. 

This appellate court has the power to reverse the decision of the first court by reviewing everything that happened during the first court to see whether any legal mistakes were made. The judges of appellate court will also read written arguments — and sometimes hear oral arguments — presented by both parties in the case. 

An appellate court when dealing with a criminal case has a few options. They can:

  • Reverse a conviction
  • Reduce a sentence
  • Order a new trial

How does an appeal process work in Oklahoma?

The procedure for an appeal has several steps:

  1. Preparation and authentication of transcripts and records in cases appealed 
  2. Completion and submission of the appeal 
  3. Filing a petition for and the issuance of a writ of certiorari (ordering a lower court to deliver its record in a case so that the higher court may review it)

Each state has specifications in regards to the process, as well, so it’s important that your defense attorney is well-versed in the Oklahoma requirements.

Appellate courts in Oklahoma look for a few things when they review the transcripts of the original trial and the arguments of both parties’ lawyers. These include:

  • Legal errors (evidence that has been improperly submitted, incorrect jury instructions, and convictions based on insufficient evidence)
  • Juror misconduct 
  • Prosecutorial misconduct 
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel (mistakes or oversights on the part of your attorney) 
  • New evidence that could now be taken into consideration

What is the likelihood that my case will win an appeal?

While it’s of course impossible to predict the future, there are a few different ways to approach an appeal that could determine the likelihood of winning. Below are two examples.

  1. When the appellate court examines a possible abuse of discretion question — when a judge ruled against “reason and evidence” or against established law — the odds of reversal are fairly low. However, this standard is also somewhat flexible, so there is some leeway for the appellate court to disagree with the original court in the event that an error of law is involved.
  2. In cases of a very clear error, the case may be a little more straight-forward. However, if the question involves something more open to interpretation, the appellate court may be more hesitant to reverse. Examples include:
  • Witness credibility
  • Sufficiency of evidence 
  • Inferences

It is nearly impossible to predict what will happen during your appeal, but having an attorney who knows the requirements in Oklahoma appellate court and who you trust to defend your innocence is vital to your success.

Contact Jacqui Ford today

At Jacqui Ford Law, our primary focus is to help our clients never need our services again. We are always available, which sets us apart from the rest, and we tell the truth, rather than offer false promises to get a quick sale. Contact us today to discuss your case. 

How to find out if you’re eligible for an Oklahoma expungement

Expungement is the legal term for having a specific conviction removed from your public record, so that the court system acts as though it never happened. This type of change to your record can be very beneficial, opening doors to better job opportunities, more housing options, and a better future.

But how can you know if you’re eligible for the expungement process in Oklahoma?

Basic Requirements for an expungement in Oklahoma

In order to petition the court for expungement, you must first make sure that you are a qualified candidate. In Oklahoma, the length of time that has elapsed since the incident is not a concern for your qualification, but rather the specifications of your case will be the determining factors. 

For example, most juvenile convictions can be expunged in Oklahoma if you receive a full pardon. However, adult convictions are trickier. Some convictions can be expunged, such as some adult felonies, misdemeanors, and arrest records, as well as if you were a victim of identity theft or trafficking.

There are two different types of expungement in Oklahoma:

 

  • Section 18 expungements are for people looking to expunge the arrest record entirely.
  • Section 991(c) expungements are for people whose sentence has been deferred and are hoping to have their case updated and dismissed. A Section 991(c) expungement will not officially remove the arrest record like in a Section 18 expungement, but rather the case will be listed as “dismissed.”

 

How do I know if I qualify?

Once you’ve determined which type of expungement you are seeking, you’ll want to find out whether you qualify for it.

Expungements may be granted under the following circumstances:

  • You were arrested, but the charges were dropped;
  • Your conviction was overturned;
  • The case was dismissed;
  • You were found innocent;
  • You were pardoned;
  • You were convicted of a misdemeanor;
  • You were under 18 when the crime was committed; 
  • You completed your sentence for a minor crime you plead guilty to;
  • You completed probation or had a delayed sentence;
  • Someone who stole your identity committed the crime;
  • You were a victim of human trafficking; etc.

If you believe you qualify for any of these reasons for expungement, you should contact an expungement attorney today to start working on your case and moving towards a better future. 

What situations do NOT qualify for expungement?

There are, unfortunately, some convictions that do not qualify for expungement in Oklahoma. Please pay attention carefully to see whether these situations apply to you.

  1. You do not qualify for expungement if you were convicted of a violent felony (non-violent felonies may be able to be expunged).
  2. You do not qualify for expungement if you have any current charges pending, including any misdemeanors or felonies of any kind.

Contact Jacqui Ford Law

Do any of these qualifications apply to you? Are you looking for better opportunities and would like to have your conviction cleared from your record? Contact us at Jacqui Ford Law now for a free consultation that can get you on track for your expungement today!

Do I need a lawyer to apply for an expungement in Oklahoma?

Looking to clear your arrest record in the state of Oklahoma? An expungement may be your best option. The expungement process allows a person convicted of certain crimes to petition the court to have the conviction removed from his or her record. If granted, the court will move forward as though the conviction never took place. 

Only certain convictions and certain situations allow for expungement, and the process can be complicated. That’s why securing a dedicated and experienced legal team to help you through the expungement is so important. 

Do I need a lawyer for the expungement process?

The short answer is yes.

While it’s not required in Oklahoma to have an attorney for expungement, the process can sometimes seem overwhelming. Hiring an attorney to guide you through the steps will make the process smoother. The petition you’ll file with the Court needs to properly filed with the best argument for your case, and you’ll need to follow all Court rules and procedures to ensure that your time and money are well-spent on this process. 

Your petition must be very specific to your case, including many pieces of information for the Judge to review before he or she decides whether to grant your expungement.

You’ll want to convince the Judge of these important points: 

  • That you qualify for an expungement;
  • That you have remorse for the incident/conviction;
  • That you have been a law-abiding citizen since the incident;
  • That the expungement will grant you relief (in regards to job opportunities, education, housing, etc.);
  • And that the benefits of the above relief outweighs the need for the public to know about your incident/conviction.

Having a good attorney by your side for this petition and this process will help you convince the judge that you are qualified for and deserving of a clean slate.

How do I know if I qualify for expungement?

In order to file a petition for expungement, you must make sure you qualify to begin with. Crimes committed by juveniles usually qualify for expungement, for example. There are other reasons, as well, that your case could qualify.

Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • You were acquitted;
  • The case was dismissed;
  • You were arrested, but the charges were dropped;
  • You were convicted of a misdemeanor;
  • You completed your sentence for a minor crime you plead guilty to.

There are many other reasons you might qualify for expungement. Be sure to do all of your research before filing a petition with the court.

What are the steps of the expungement process?

So perhaps you’ve determined that you qualify for expungement, but what does the expungement process look like? 

  1. First, you need to make sure you qualify for expungement (more information below).
  2. Then, you’ll need to write a petition and file it with the Court district where your indictment occurred. (The petition must be drafted for your particular case. That’s why it’s so helpful to have an expungement attorney working with you through this process.)
  3. The Court will set a hearing within 30 days of your petition being filed.
  4. All agencies involved in your original charges must be notified of this hearing in writing.
  5. At your hearing, the Judge will decide whether or not you will be granted an expungement.

Costs

The cost for an expungement may vary depending on the district where petition. Here are the approximate costs for Oklahoma:

  • Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) Criminal History Report: $15.00
  • OSBI Processing Fee: $150.00
  • Approximate Court Costs: $175.00
  • Petition Fee: $30.00

(It’s important to consider attorney fees, as well, although many attorneys throughout Oklahoma charge very affordable flat rates.)

Get the Process Started

At Jacqui Ford Law, we have an experienced legal team who have helped many clients through their expungement process. If you or someone you love is interested in getting a conviction expunged from their record, contact us today for your free consultation. 

What are the requirements for Expungement in Oklahoma?

What is an expungement?

In a nutshell, an expungement prevents the public from having access to the information in your court and arrest records, effectively sealing them. If you do not qualify for an expungement, you may still qualify for a partial expungement. A partial expungement can seal a portion of your court record and change a deferred sentence to “Pled Not Guilty, Case Dismissed”.

The changes to your records will be reflected throughout OSCN.net, ODCR.com, OSBI(Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation,) Law Enforcement agencies, the Court Clerk, the Department of Corrections, and the Pardon and Parole Board. It will also effectively alter the information available through third-party reporting agencies and background checks.     

This can have a tremendously positive effect on your life, giving you opportunities for better employment, improved housing, access to public assistance and even cheaper insurance. It may also restore some of your civil rights, including voting rights and gun rights.

What are the requirements?

The requirement to begin the expungement process is to be a qualified candidate. Once you document you are a qualifying individual for an expungement or even a partial expungement, you can petition the district court where the records reside. Some of the requirements to qualify necessitate that a certain length of time has elapsed since the incident and other conditions usually must be present.  

What are the qualifications?

Review your arrest(s), charge(s) and conviction(s) to see if you think you might qualify. A short list of qualifying factors include:   

  • You were acquitted.
  • You were arrested, but not charged with a crime and the allotted time has passed.
  • You were charged with a crime, but the charges were completely dropped and enough time has
  • passed.  
  • Your conviction was overturned and the charges were dropped.
  • You received a pardon.
  • You were cleared of the crime by DNA.
  • Someone else committed the crime using your name.

Other qualifications may take into account:

    • You successfully completed the terms of your suspended sentence or your deferred sentence.
    • You were convicted as a juvenile.
    • You were convicted of a misdemeanor.
    • You were convicted of a non-violent felony and can meet some additional requirements.

What are the costs?

Costs for an expungement can vary depending on which court district you must petition. Generally, the approximate costs consist of:

  • OSBI Criminal History Report: $15.00
  • OSBI Processing Fee: $150.00
  • Approximate Court Costs: $175.00
  • Petition Fee: $30.00

You may also want to consider the cost of retaining a criminal or civil rights attorney. Many attorneys throughout Oklahoma, and in particular Oklahoma City, charge very affordable flat rates. If you have a more complex case, the attorney’s fees and costs can vary. Considering the positive impact an expungement could have on your life, it is money well spent.

What’s the court process like?  

The process can seem overwhelming. Hiring an attorney to guide you through the steps will make the process much smoother. The steps to be granted an expungement generally constitute:

  1. Gathering the documentation that proves you qualify.
  2. Writing a petition and filing it with the Court in the district where the incident occurred.
  3. A hearing will be set within 30 days of the filing of the petition by the Judge’s office.
  4. The state attorney’s office who filed the charges and all agencies involved must be notified of the hearing in writing.
  5. At the hearing, the Judge will make a ruling as to whether or not you will be granted an expungement.

The OSBI recommends that you hire an attorney to assist you through this process. It is a solid piece of advice. There are no forms available through the clerk of the court to fill out. The petition must be drafted for your particular case. In addition, all court rules and procedures must be followed. In general, Judges will not be lenient just because you don’t have an attorney.

Importance of a lawyer:

The expungement petition filed with the Court must spell out why the Judge should grant you an expungement. It must include many pieces of information for the Judge to review. That information must be organized in a manner that presents your request for an expungement in the best light possible. The petition needs to convince the Judge of several key points:

  • That you are eligible for an expungement.
  • That you have regret or remorse the incident.
  • That you have proven yourself to be a productive, law-abiding citizen.
  • That the expungement will grant much-needed relief.
  • And that the benefits of the relief sought outweighs the need for the public to know about the incident.

With the right attorney, your chances of getting the expungement you deserve are far better than if you try to go it alone. From having the best possible petition filed, to following all the Court rules and procedures properly in order to ensure your money is well spent, a good attorney is a necessary and valuable partner to have at your side. Hiring an attorney will help you convince the judge that you are qualified for and deserve the benefit of the doubt and a fresh start.

 

Contact our firm today and let’s discuss the requirements for an expungement and whether or not you are a potential candidate.

What are the steps to getting an expungement?

If you’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime, you have the right to petition the court for an expungement of your arrest or conviction.

Typically, when an expungement is approved, this means that your arrest or conviction is sealed, or hidden from your criminal record. It doesn’t erase it altogether, however. Certain government agencies and law enforcement officials will still be able to see the arrest or conviction on your record, but it won’t show up on employment background checks.

 

What types of expungements are available in Oklahoma?

There are two types of expungements in Oklahoma, a Section 18 and a Section 99:

  • A Section 18 expungement will allow you to expunge your entire arrest record.
  • A Section 99 expungement allows a person who received a deferred sentence to expunge their plea, and have the disposition of their case updated to show the case has been dismissed.  The disposition will change to “pled not guilty, case dismissed,” but it will not remove the arrest from your record.

 

Who qualifies for expungement in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, you can apply to have your record expunged if you meet the following criteria:

  • You were acquitted of the charges against you.
  • Your conviction was reversed by an appellate court, and the prosecuting attorney subsequently dismissed the charges against you.
  • You were arrested, but no charges were ever filed against you and the statute of limitations for prosecution has passed.
  • You were under 18 at the time of your conviction and have since received a full pardon.
  • Your charges were dismissed, you don’t have any other convictions on your record, and you don’t have any pending charges against you.
  • You were charged with a misdemeanor, and the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence. You can’t have any other convictions, and you can’t have any pending charges. At least one year must pass after the charge is dismissed for you to qualify.
  • If you were charged or arrested or were the subject of an arrest warrant for a crime that was committed by another person, and that person used your name or identification without your consent.
  • There are several other criteria that qualify you for an expungement. Click here to see the full list.

 

Do you need a lawyer to apply for an expungement?

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation strongly suggests that you hire an experienced attorney to handle your expungement. There is a lot of paperwork involved, and one tiny technical problem with your form can stop you from getting the expungement.

Even if you meet the criteria for expungement under Oklahoma law, the state can still object to your application for expungement.

On the Petition for Expungement that you send to the State Bureau of Investigation, the following information must be included:

  • Name
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Crimes you were charged with
  • Date of your arrest
  • The end result of the charges and/or arrest.

 

Jacqui Ford Law has successfully expunged records on behalf of her clients. Contact Ford’s office today if you or someone you love need help with getting an expungement for your arrest or conviction.