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What Is A Criminal Record In Oklahoma?
Criminal records, also known as rap sheets, contain a comprehensive compilation of a person’s criminal history in Oklahoma. They provide details on any past arrests, warrants, charges, or criminal court judgments. The documents in a criminal record are assembled from local, county, and state law enforcement as well as trial courts, courts of appeals, and regional correctional facilities. Like most police records, criminal records are public records. Therefore, members of the public may obtain them within the limitations of the Oklahoma Open Records Act.
While the standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county, the majority of Oklahoma criminal records are organized in online record depositories, which can be accessed through a number of courts, police departments, and other agencies.
What Is In A Criminal Record In Oklahoma?
Criminal records provide information (if any) on the existence of any criminal activity committed by an individual. While the exact details of a criminal record vary with different individuals, a criminal record search will furnish the requester with general information such as:
- Subject’s name
- Subject’s date of birth
- Physical descriptors
- Details of the arrest
- Disposition of all warrants
- Crime summary
- Details of the conviction (name of the criminal offense)
Are Criminal Records Public In Oklahoma?
Yes. Criminal records are among the documents the Oklahoma Public Records Act makes open to the public. Interested persons may request to view and obtain a copy of these records from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).
However, note that the Bureau may sequester criminal records from public access if releasing the criminal record sabotages active criminal investigation or puts a third party at risk. Suppose these concerns do not apply to the criminal record. Then, a requester may lookup and obtain the criminal records of interest.
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
How To Obtain Criminal Records In Oklahoma
Generally, there are three ways to look up criminal records in Oklahoma. A name-based online search on the Criminal History Information Request Portal (CHIRP) is the fastest way to look up criminal records. First, interested persons must create a CHIRP account and wait for the approval. Upon approval, the requester may look up criminal records for $15.00 per person.
Meanwhile, persons who cannot perform an electronic search may submit a criminal records request in person or send a mail request. The Bureau of Investigation directs such requesters to complete the criminal records request form. Next, the requester must attach payment in the form of cash, check, money order, or credit card. Then, the requester must enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to the OSBI.
6600 North Harvey Place
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Phone: (405) 848-6724
Fax: (405) 879-2503
Persons who cannot afford to pay can still perform a free public criminal record check. One way to accomplish this is to request a fee waiver from the record custodian. Alternatively, the requesters may search websites that publish free criminal records in Oklahoma. However, the downside of free databases is that the completeness and accuracy of free criminal records are not guaranteed.
What Is An Arrest Record In Oklahoma?
An arrest record contains information regarding a person’s arrest, detention, or confinement by members of law enforcement. In the state of Oklahoma, when a person is arrested and taken into custody and/or charged with a misdemeanor, felony, or any other offense, the information becomes part of the record.
Are Arrest Records Public In Oklahoma?
Most arrest records in Oklahoma are public and can be accessed by members contacting the local court or law enforcement agency. However, some arrest records may be protected from public view if they affect an ongoing investigation. This restriction is not unusual for police records, especially if public safety is a major concern. A court order may also restrict unauthorized access to an arrest record. Furthermore, where an arrest record is public information, the requester must pay a small fee to copy the documents. It is possible to obtain a free arrest record if the record custodian grants a fee waiver, but this is unlikely. In such cases, many people turn to databases that offer free arrest search services. Even at that, the completeness and authenticity of such free records are questionable.
What Are Arrest Warrants In Oklahoma?
An Oklahoma arrest warrant is an official document that authorizes the arrest of the person (or persons) named in the warrant by law enforcement officers. Warrants are signed and issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the regional jurisdictions. Persons who worry about outstanding warrants for their arrest may perform a warrant search with the agency in-person, online, or through a proxy. Most Sheriff offices and police departments post public information about active warrants on their websites. Interested persons may conduct an active warrant search on such websites.
Warrantless arrests are allowed in Oklahoma if certain conditions are met. In compliance with state laws, police officers may make arrests without a warrant if:
- They witness an individual committing a crime
- They have probable cause for an arrest
Individuals who are arrested are processed at the local police station or sheriff’s office, depending on the charges and arresting agency.
What Are Inmate Records In Oklahoma?
Oklahoma inmate records contain official information of persons held in correctional facilities within the state. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) is tasked with the oversight of the state’s prisons and community correction center, while county sheriffs and local police manage county and city jails. Public information on inmates can be accessed in person or online by contacting the overseeing agency. Some of the details provided in an inmate search include:
- The inmate’s name
- Date of birth
- Physical descriptors
- Incarceration date
- Details of the inmate’s offense
- Inmate photo (mugshot)
- Expected date of release
What Is The Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry?
The Oklahoma sex offender registry is a public listing of all offenders who were convicted of committing a sex crime in Oklahoma. Oklahoma enacted its Sex Offenders Registration Act, also known as Megan’s Law, to ensure a publicly accessible database of persons convicted of sex crimes or attempts to commit sex crimes.
Concerned residents of Oklahoma can perform a name-based search of suspected or known sex offenders in their communities. There is also a provision to perform an appearance search and map search for sex offenders in the state. A query will return the registered sex offender’s name, address, criminal history, and physical descriptors. Sex offender listings make it easier for law enforcement officers to keep track of sex offenders. It also provides publicly available information on sex offenders to citizens and residents of Oklahoma.
DUIs In Oklahoma
A DUI in Oklahoma refers to driving or operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit of 0.08. Generally, officers of the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office conduct field and chemical sobriety tests to determine if a person is driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. If indicted, the Department of Public Safety shall suspend the driver’s license pending a court hearing and administrative review.
DUI is a serious traffic violation. Generally, the penalties for drunk driving in Oklahoma include fines, fees, license revocation, and jail time. The court may also order the driver to install an ignition interlock device, complete a drivers’ education program, or substance abuse treatment—all at personal cost. Furthermore, the DUI conviction remains on the individual’s driving record for life.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma has a zero-tolerance policy for minors facing DUI charges. Consuming any amount of alcohol and driving is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and jail time—even for an underage driver. The driver also faces mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in the motor vehicle.
What Are Misdemeanors In Oklahoma?
Misdemeanors are a category of crimes in Oklahoma that are "less severe than felonies." Individuals convicted of crimes in this category risk facing a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail, up to $500 in fines, or a combination of both. Unlike most states, the state of Oklahoma does not organize misdemeanors into separate categories. Instead, in Oklahoma, the penalty for misdemeanor crimes is determined by the type of crime and the severity of the act. Examples of misdemeanor crimes in Oklahoma include:
- Petit Larceny (Petty theft)
- Public intoxication
- Driving under the influence
- False rumors or slander
- Assault and battery (depending on the degree)
- Unlawful Assembly
- Selling lottery tickets
- Simple drug possession
What Is A Felony In Oklahoma?
A felony offense in Oklahoma is any crime punishable by more than 1 year. Depending on the offense, felony convictions may even be punished by death. Unlike most states, Oklahoma does not classify felonies into different categories. Instead, each offense has its own penalties associated with it. Examples of crimes that rank as felonies in Oklahoma include:
- Homicide (murder)
- Child Abuse
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Armed Robbery
- Drug Trafficking
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Sexual assault
- Second DUI offense
What Are Probation Records In Oklahoma?
Probation records are official documents that provide the details and conditions linked with a person’s probation. It contains general information such as:
- Details of the supervision during probation
- The duration of the probation
- The amount to be repaid
- The frequency of check-ins with a probation officer
Probation records fall under the umbrella of public records, which means they can be accessed by almost any member of the public. There are however exceptions. Probation records for juveniles remain sealed until the offender is an adult. However, guardians and parents of minors out on probation may be able to secure these records.
What Are Juvenile Criminal Records In Oklahoma?
A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information regarding criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered to be convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are found to be “adjudicated delinquent.” These criminal records are often mistakenly thought to be erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.
Oklahoma History And Accuracy Of Criminal Records
The accuracy of criminal records data depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Oklahoma criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s when criminal and arrest data started to be centralized and compiled into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past, but in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer.