Section 991c Expungement
The § 991c expungement removes some information from the public record but not as much as the § 18 expungement. Since it is a smaller version of the § 18 expungement, I call it “Expungement Lite”. This is because the § 991c expungement does not affect the arrest record. However, it does remove and change some public information about a case. A § 991c expungement only applies to deferred sentences that have been dismissed. So, in order to process a 991c expungement, your case must be dismissed first.
When a case is expunged under this process, the court clerk will remove the records of that case from public view. This means that your online court record will be removed. Additionally, when the paperwork is processed through the OSBI, their records will be changed to reflect a not-guilty plea and the dismissal of the case.
A big misconception about this expungement is that it’s automatic. Many people believe that their case was expunged after their deferred sentence ended. That is not necessarily true. Sometimes the § 991c expungement is automatic; other times it is not. The 991c paperwork still must be processed by both the court clerk and the OSBI. While the processing of a dismissal and § 991c expungement with the court clerk’s office may be automatic, the processing through OSBI is not automatic. Even if the case information was taken off the internet, the order of dismissal most likely did not get sent to the OSBI. To have an official criminal record changed to state that you pled not guilty and your case was dismissed, the right paperwork must be taken to the OSBI.
Section 991c Expungement Process
The first step in securing a § 991c expungement is ensuring that you have completed all the requirements for your deferred sentence. This includes completing all probation requirements to include paying all court costs, probation supervision fees, and DA prosecution reimbursement fees. Next, you have to make sure the case is dismissed or follow the required procedures to get your case dismissed. This usually involves an agreed order between the prosecutor and defense attorney that is signed by the judge. This order directs the clerk to expunge the public records for that case.
Once that the judge signs the order, it must be taken to the court clerk so they can begin the process for removing that case’s information from the public record. All references to the name of the defendant will be deleted from the docket sheet. The public index of the filing of the charge will be expunged by deletion, mark-out, or obliteration. Upon expungement, the court clerk will keep a separate confidential index of case numbers and names of defendants that have been obliterated pursuant to the § 991c. No information concerning the confidential file will be revealed or released, except upon written order of a judge of the district court or upon written request by the named defendant to the court clerk for the purpose of updating the criminal history record of the defendant with the OSBI. Defendants qualifying under § 18 may petition the court to have the filing of the indictment and the dismissal expunged from the public index and docket sheet.
A certified copy of the judgment must be taken to the OSBI. The OSBI will use that to update their records to reflect the dismissal.
If some time has passed since your deferred probation ended, then the court may have already processed your § 991c expungement. Try to pull up your case on OSCN. This only applies to cases filed in a district court. If you are unable to see your case on OSCN, then it is very likely that your dismissal and § 991c expungement were already processed through the court clerk. However, this is only half of what a § 991c expungement does. If you want your record updated with the OSBI, then you will need to get the certified copy of your dismissal from the court clerk and take it to the OSBI.
After a Deferred Sentence Expungement
Under a 991c expungement, the OSBI records will be changed from “pled guilty case deferred,” to “pled guilty case dismissed.” And, nobody will be able to see your case on the OSCN website anymore.