An old saying: If you do the crime you gotta do the time is wrong. Most of my clients, like I will wager, most lawyers’ clients, are not career criminals, but victims of run away government looking for a quick fix to complaints from politicians wanting a bump in their ratings with the voters. The vast majority of my clients do not do the time, however, there is negative fall-out from criminal clients pleading nolo contendere or guilty to a deferred sentence. The deferred sentence I am referring to allows a person to escape conviction of a criminal offense upon successfully completing probation. I.E. the case is dismissed by the State upon payment of all costs, and completion of the required conditions of probation.
The reality can be pretty grim when the successfully completed probation comes with a gotcha. The idea is that upon completion of probation, the case is dismissed and goes away, however, there is a catch.
Children, adolescents and young adults are treated by the State like older generation software or forgotten game boys, disposable, forgotten, discarded. One strike and you are out of the game, one problem with the police and your life is over. Employers, it turns out screen their applicants and pay a fee to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation to reveal a job applicant’s arrest history. If the arrest history shows that a potential employee had an arrest without a conviction, the employer puts two and two together and concludes that the job applicant is not worthy of a job. Thus, the gotcha. How does one cancel out the gotcha?
In the old days, the government did not have the ability to know everything and every little sin was not reported to the police, the teachers were able to cope with the occasional pocket knife brought to class. It was taken away and returned at the end of the semester or became part of the permanent collection of the teacher. Today, take a pen knife to class and the swat team is called.
Today, the all seeing eye of the government may be dimmed by extra heavy duty efforts of defense counsel. Expungment is the remedy to the problem faced by the majority of criminal defendants. Each case is different and there are many types of expungement. One type of expungement does not work for all cases.
A successful 100% expungment will make the OSBI forget they knew you. However, expungement is a remedy available to the few who qualify and to the few who take advantage of the shortness of time that sometimes attaches to a particular case.
See your local criminal defense attorney qualified to give you the best advice. An expungement will make the doors to employment open in your direction.