The City Sentinel Staff Report
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation to streamline the process for juvenile record expungements passed the House on Monday (March 10) with a bipartisan vote of 86 to 9.
According to a press release from legislative staff, sent to The City Sentinel and other news organizations,
House Bill 1799, authored by Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, “would encourage the juvenile, their parents or guardian, or their attorney, to seek juvenile expungement. This would allow Oklahomans to begin the juvenile record expungement orally or through a written petition at the time the case is being dismissed, instead of waiting until they turn 21.”
Rep. Miller explained further, “Many people believe that juvenile records are automatically confidential. This legislation would simplify the process for Oklahomans to have their juvenile records sealed.”
Rep. José Cruz, D-Oklahoma City, a coauthor of the legislation, said H.B. 1799 is a chance to remove obstacles for Oklahomans trying to succeed, while also prioritizing public safety.
“This legislation doesn’t change the circumstances in which a court can access expunged records,” Cruz said in the House release.
“What it does is remove barriers to employment, education, and housing. To a lot of Oklahomans doing their best to improve their circumstance, this policy change could be the difference in failure and success.”
As a result of this week’s vote in the House of Representatives, H.B. 1799 became eligible to be heard on the Senate floor.