If you are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in Oklahoma, the incident will be reported on three separate public records: your driving record, arrest record and the court record. If you choose to not fight the charge, accept a plea bargain or otherwise plead guilty, these records will remain and be visible to anyone who conducts a background check on you.
However, if you are proactive in your DUI case and retain the services of an experienced defense attorney, it may be possible to have these records cleared, sealed or expunged.
As soon as you are arrested, law enforcement will confiscate your physical driver’s license and report the incident to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, which issues drivers licenses and maintains driving records.
In order to have a shot at removing the DUI from your driving record, you must request an administrative license hearing within 30 days of your arrest. If you do not make the formal request within the 30-day window, you will forfeit your chance to have the hearing. If this happens, your license will be automatically suspended for a minimum of six months, and the DUI-related license forfeiture will be recorded on your driving record. This will remain on your driving record for at least three years and possibly longer.
We will file the formal hearing request for you if you retain us before the 30-day window expires. If the officer requested a blood test and you submitted to the test, the 30-day window will start once the blood has been tested and returned a result showing a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
Court and Arrest Records
The court and arrest records are the only records actually eligible for expungement. In Oklahoma, there are two types of expungement: a Section 991c expungement and a Section 18/19 expungement.
- A Section 991c expungement will seal the court records, meaning that the public will not have access to them. In order to qualify for a Section 991c expungement, you must successfully complete a deferred sentence. It is important to note, though, that a 991c expungement will NOT expunge your arrest record at OSBI or other law enforcement agencies—it will still be accessible to the public. A Section 991c expungement does remove your information from www.OSCN.net.
- A Section 18/19 expungement will seal your court records as well as clear the charge from your arrest record, which is maintained by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). In order to obtain a Section 18/19 expungement, we must file an expungement lawsuit and send notice to every agency that was involved in the case. This type of expungement is usually not very difficult to obtain if you qualify.
There is a final record that is not expungeable as it is not a public record. When the Department of Public Safety receives information that you were arrested for DUI or APC, they enter that information into a master driving index. This master driving index is a record of all actions that occur concerning your driving privileges. Although the public cannot see it, law enforcement agencies can see it as well as the District Attorney’s office should you be charged with subsequent crimes.
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