A person first acquires an Oklahoma criminal record when they are arrested and fingerprinted by law enforcement in the state. Any additional arrests, convictions, or court dispositions are subsequently added to the criminal record. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is the state’s central repository for criminal history information, therefore law enforcement agencies and courts forward all criminal record information to the OSBI.
The Oklahoma Open Records Act ensures the public’s right to access criminal records in the state, and residents may request a copy of their own criminal record or the record of another person through the OSBI.
What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is an official document detailing a person’s criminal convictions, pending criminal cases, prior arrests, and other interactions with law enforcement agencies. Additional names for a criminal record include criminal history record, rap sheet, and a police record.
As with marriage records and court records, criminal records are generally public records in the United States and can be accessed through a criminal background check. However, public access to specific criminal record information varies from state to state.
In the State of Oklahoma, criminal records are accessible to the general public. However, a request must be made by mail or in-person as there is no searchable online database of Oklahoma criminal history information.
What is included in an Oklahoma criminal record?
As criminal records are kept by law enforcement agencies at all levels of government in the United States, an Oklahoma criminal record may vary in format and content depending on the law enforcement database from which it is accessed.
Generally, an Oklahoma criminal record will include the following information:
- A person’s full name and possible aliases
- Personal information such as age, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, height, weight, and other physical characteristics
- Fingerprints and mugshot
- Misdemeanor criminal offenses and convictions
- Felony criminal offenses and convictions
- Past and outstanding arrest warrants
- Pending and dismissed charges
Why would someone access a criminal record?
There are many reasons to access a criminal record.
- Most commonly, people search criminal records as a way to run a background check on a particular person.
- They’re also used by law enforcement to identify or locate people involved in unsolved crimes or by the court system to determine an appropriate sentence after a conviction.
- An individual may want to access his or her own record as well. It’s not uncommon for people to request their own criminal records to see what information is public.
- In some cases, a record could be inaccurate or include outdated information. If that’s the case, it’s important to have the record corrected.
What’s the difference between an infraction, misdemeanor, and felony?
Arrests and convictions listed on a criminal record are separated into three categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
To give a better understanding of the information listed on a criminal record, here’s a quick overview of each category of offense:
- Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is usually just a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering.
- Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, yet less serious than a felony. Generally, a misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or by a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than in a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
- Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime, often characterized by the use of a weapon during a crime, serious injury to a victim, and/or holding a person against their will. Felony convictions typically result in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and grand theft.
What is the difference between an Oklahoma arrest record and an Oklahoma criminal record?
While an arrest record is an official document including the details of a specific arrest, a criminal record is a more comprehensive document that includes a person’s entire criminal background known to law enforcement agencies.
How do I request an Oklahoma criminal record?
A request for your Oklahoma criminal record, or the record of another person, must be made to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The request process is as follows:
- Fill out a Criminal History Request Form.
- Prepare payment of $15 (or $19 for a fingerprint-based criminal record check). The fee can be paid by cashier’s check, money order, credit card, or cash (in-person, only).
- Submit the form and payment by mail (along with a postage-paid envelope) or in-person to:
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
The request may also be submitted by fax to (405) 879-2503. Faxed requests must be paid for by credit card. If submitting an in-person request, please wear a mask to OSBI headquarters due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
How do I obtain a physical copy of an Oklahoma criminal record?
If a criminal record exists for the subject of a criminal record request, then a physical copy of the record will be sent to the address listed on the request form.
Why can’t I access an Oklahoma criminal record?
If you submit a criminal record request to the OSBI and no record is returned, there are several possibilities:
- The subject has no criminal record in the state.
- The subject’s criminal record has been expunged.
- The subject has a criminal record under a different alias.
The SBI criminal record request form allows you to write in three separate aliases, so if the subject has any known aliases make sure to include them to avoid the possibility of a negative response.
How do I search for Oklahoma criminal case court records?
The Oklahoma State Courts Network hosts a searchable database of court records from all of the state’s county district courts that is accessible to the general public.
Users can search one or all Oklahoma courts for records by case number, party, case type, lower court case number, or traffic citation.
Does Oklahoma allow criminal records to be sealed or expunged?
The State of Oklahoma allows individuals to petition to have one or more arrests or convictions expunged from their criminal record. However, multiple petitions must be filed for arrests in different counties. Expunging a court record in the state is free, but expunging an arrest requires a person to pay a $150 processing fee.
Visit this Ok.gov: Criminal History Record Expungement page to learn more about eligibility for expungement and instructions on how to file a Petition for Expungement.
How can I have false information on an Oklahoma criminal record corrected?
If you believe that your Oklahoma criminal record has false information or incorrectly attributed arrests, you should contact the SBI and request instructions on how to pursue a challenge to correct the information.
The Oklahoma SBI may be contacted at (405) 848-6724 or you can send the bureau a message through this web page.
How long are Oklahoma criminal records kept on file?
Oklahoma criminal history information is maintained indefinitely in the state’s central repository unless a successful petition for expungement is filed.