The Oklahoma justice system is flawed in some circumstances, especially in regards to criminal law. Not every trial or case turns out the desired way. Innocent people will be wrongly convicted and guilty people go free. However, the process does not end upon a wrongful conviction, nor does it mean the end for a convicted defendant. There are still viable legal options available post-conviction, and the experienced and skilled attorneys at M.K. Bailey Law Offices have filed winning briefs to assist our clients with their post-conviction claims.
This aspect of the legal world is highly specialized. In order to successfully navigate the appellate process, you need an attorney with not only intricate legal precision, but one who understands the volume and complexity of a case entering the appeals phase. This is one of the most critical aspects of the criminal justice system, as justice is not always served appropriately and it frequently infringes upon individual and Constitutional rights.
GROUNDS FOR CRIMINAL APPEAL:
Not all legal errors are appealable, but an appeal of a criminal conviction or sentence is a statutory right that is available.
MOST COMMON GROUNDS FOR APPEAL:
- Legal errors - such as incorrect jury instructions, prosecution not making its burden to support conviction or the judge allowing the introduction of inadmissible evidence.
- Juror misconduct
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- New evidence - such as DNA, or a new witness
Due to the lengthy and intricate criminal process,
many errors can occur along the way, which may not be the fault of your attorney at the time. This does not mean th
at nothing can be done; call M.K. Bailey Law Offices today for a free case review to determine what appellate issues you or a family member's case may have. An improper verdict does not have to mean the end of the process.
With the wide variety of appellate options and applicable remedies available, call our experienced attorneys who can inform you of your rights.
Throughout the years, the attorneys at M.K. Bailey Law Offices have assisted thousands of individuals in getting their lives back on track by permanently expunging arrest or conviction records. A common misconception is that regardless of your crime, records of arrests which do not end in incarceration are destroyed acquittal, dismissal or deferred sentence. However, this is far from reality.
Most establishments (including employers and academic institutions) now run a background checks on each potential applicant, which reveal the applicant's arrest history, regardless of the ultimate disposition of the case or how much time has passed since the arrest occurred. Your arrest will appear on most background checks unless you take seek the assistance of M.K. Bailey Law Offices to petition the court to permanently remove this record.
Call M.K. Bailey Law Offices today at 405-486-9789 to start the process of removing old records that may hinder your future.
WHAT IS AN EXPUNGEMENT?
Expungement is a legal process by which the arrest or conviction of a person may be erased from a criminal record, thereby preventing public access to such information. In an expungement proceeding, a first-time offender of a prior criminal conviction seeks to judicially seal the records of that earlier process, which make the records unavailable through the state or Federal repositories.
When an expungement is granted by the judge, the person whose record is expunged may, for most purposes, treat the event as if it never occurred. After the expungement process is complete, an arrest or a criminal conviction ordinarily does not need to be disclosed by the person who was arrested or convicted. Expungement is a civil action in which the petitioner or plaintiff asks the court to declare that the records be expunged.
WHAT TYPE OF CHARGES CAN BE EXPUNGED FROM MY RECORD?
Generally Non-Violent misdemeanors, felonies, and some VPOs (Victim Protection Order) are eligible for Expungement. In the event you have a violent felony, please contact our office to see if there is an alternative avenue that you will be able to take.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF I AM ELIGIBLE TO HAVE MY RECORD EXPUNGED?
Contact the experienced attorneys at M. K. Bailey Law offices who will provide a very thorough, free case review.
Below are a few types of cases where the petitioner would be eligible for an expungement:
Misdemeanor, Felony & Municipal Court Expungement (Section 18-19)
In order to qualify for a full Expungement of your criminal records, you must be within one of the following categories:
Effective November 1, 2012 (please contact our office for current categories)
- The person has been acquitted;
- The conviction was reversed with instructions to dismiss by an appellate court of competent jurisdiction, or an appellate court of competent jurisdiction reversed the conviction and the district attorney subsequently dismissed the charge;
- The factual innocence of the person was established by the use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence subsequent to conviction, including a person who has been released from prison at the time innocence was established;
- The person has received a full pardon on the basis of a written finding by the Governor of actual innocence for the crime for which the claimant was sentenced;
- The person was arrested and no charges of any type, including charges for an offense different than that for which the person was originally arrested are filed and the statute of limitations has expired or the prosecuting agency has declined to file charges;
- The person was under eighteen (18) years of age at the time the offense was committed and the person has received a full pardon for the offense;
- The person was charged with one or more misdemeanor or felony crimes, all charges have been dismissed, the person has never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and the statute of limitations for re-filing the charge or charges has expired or the prosecuting agency confirms that the charge or charges will not be re-filed; provided, however, this category shall not apply to charges that have been dismissed following the completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence;
- The person was charged with a misdemeanor, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, the person has never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and at least two (2) years have passed since the charge was dismissed;
- The person was charged with a nonviolent felony offense, as set forth in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, the person has never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and at least ten (10) years have passed since the charge was dismissed;
- The person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense, the person has not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least ten (10) years have passed since the conviction;
- The person was convicted of a nonviolent felony offense, as defined in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the person has received a full pardon for the offense, the person has not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least ten (10) years have passed since the conviction; or
- The person has been charged or arrested or is the subject of an arrest warrant for a crime that was committed by another person who has appropriated or used the person's name or other identification without the person's consent or authorization.
Deferred Sentence Expungement (Misdemeanor or Felony) 991C
The 991C expungement allows for a defendant, upon successful completion of the deferred sentence, to be eligible for an expungement, the sealing of the court records, and have the arrest record reflect that the case has been dismissed.
WHAT IS A DEFERRED SENTENCE?
A deferred sentence refers to a postponed or delayed sentence in a criminal matter. In a deferred sentence, the court gives a defendant an opportunity to complete a probationary period before sentencing. If the defendant successfully completes probation at the conclusion of the probationary period, the court will review the defendant's file and may dismiss the charges against them.
What is a pardon?
A pardon is executive recognition that someone has turned their life around and has become a "responsible and productive citizen." [As noted by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Website.] A pardon is granted by the Governor after a recommendation by the Parole Board.
The general rule for a client to be eligible for pardon is that they must have completed their sentence (including any parole or probation time) or have been released from the incarceration portion of their sentence for at least five years. However, there are a couple of grey areas of considering what the Governor may consider as evidence of someone turning their life around. The lawyers at M.K. Bailey will be able to assist you in the process of determining which option is best for you.
What does a pardon do and how is that different from an expungement?
Under Oklahoma law, a pardon by itself will not clear a person's record. It does not prevent a prior criminal record from being considered when decisions are made concerning employment or other matters. Even if one is granted a pardon, the record may continue to affect them. A person who was less than 18 years old at the time the offense was committed and who has received a pardon may seek to have their record expunged.
Please note that any person convicted of a non-violent felony that has received a pardon for the offense and has not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or felony and has no felony or misdemeanor charges pending, may after 10 years have passed (since the conviction) file a motion for expungement.
The Basic Pardon Process:
- Probation and Parole Officer of Department of Corrections will conduct an investigation where a list of questions and evidence will need to be given to the attorneys at M.K. Bailey Law Offices. The main aim of this is to determine how an applicant deals with problems post a criminal conviction.
- Upon receipt of this information M.K. Bailey Law offices will submit an application to the Pardon and Parolee Board for their consideration.
- The Pardon and Parolee Board meets once a month and upon an opening in their docket, a board date shall be set.
- Upon receiving a favorable recommendation from a majority of the Board, this recommendation shall be forwarded to the Governor who has the final decision.
- Once a final decision has been made you shall be notified of such decision in writing.
Under Oklahoma law, a Pardon will not clear your record, but it does prevent your criminal record being considered when a potential employer or school reviews and application.
Should you or a family member need to get a pardon from the Oklahoma Governor, please call the staff at M.K. Bailey Law Offices who can assist in guiding you through this process.