Expungement

Expungement

How Can I Clear Up My Record?

Oregon’s expungement statute, ORS 137.225, lists the technical details. Basically, expungement is a procedure one can go through to have a court issue an order to set aside a prior conviction or a record of an arrest.

Some convictions and arrests can’t be expunged: Traffic citations, Class B and Class A felonies, sex crimes, child abuse (criminal mistreatment, endangerment).

There are also time limits: there is no waiting period for expungement of an arrest that leads to an acquittal or dismissal, but the court will only expunge such an arrest if you have not been convicted of any of any other offense (besides traffic offenses) in the ten years prior to the dismissal/acquittal, nor arrested within three years prior to the dismissal/acquittal. Other Eligible Convictions can be expunged after a three year waiting period, provided the sentence for that conviction has been served in full, and subject to the prior conviction/prior arrest requirements detailed above. Arrests that did not lead to a conviction nor to a dismissal/acquittal can be expunged after one year (not including time during which you may have absconded), subject to the prior conviction/prior arrest requirements detailed above.

Expungement is complicated, but an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the statute. If you are interested in cleaning up your record, you should call the Law Office today.


NOTE: This is not an exhaustive reading of the statue, just the highlights!

Expungement: ORS 137.225
Order setting aside conviction or record of arrest; fees; prerequisites; limitations.

(1)(a) At any time after the lapse of three years from the date of pronouncement of judgment, any defendant who has fully complied with and performed the sentence of the court and whose conviction is described in subsection (5) of this section by motion may apply to the court wherein that conviction was entered for entry of an order setting aside the conviction; or
(b) At any time after the lapse of one year from the date of any arrest, if no accusatory instrument was filed, or at any time after an acquittal or a dismissal of the charge, the arrested person may apply to the court which would have jurisdiction over the crime for which the person was arrested, for entry of an order setting aside the record of such arrest. For the purpose of computing the one-year period, time during which the arrested person has secreted himself or herself within or without the state shall not be included.
(2)(a) A copy of the motion and a full set of the defendant’s fingerprints shall be served upon the office of the prosecuting attorney who prosecuted the crime or violation, or who had authority to prosecute the charge if there was no accusatory instrument filed, and opportunity be given to contest the motion. The fingerprint card with the notation “motion for setting aside conviction” or “motion for setting aside arrest record” as the case may be, shall be forwarded to the Department of State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification. Information resulting from the fingerprint search along with the fingerprint card shall be returned to the prosecuting attorney.
(b) When a prosecuting attorney is served with a copy of a motion to set aside a conviction under this section, the prosecuting attorney shall provide a copy of the motion and notice of the hearing date to the victim, if any, of the crime by mailing a copy of the motion and notice to the victim’s last-known address.
(c) When a person makes a motion under subsection (1)(a) of this section, the person must pay a fee of $80. The person shall attach a certified check payable to the Department of State Police in the amount of $80 to the fingerprint card that is served upon the prosecuting attorney. The office of the prosecuting attorney shall forward the check with the fingerprint card to the Department of State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification.
(3) Upon hearing the motion, the court may require the filing of such affidavits and may require the taking of such proofs as it deems proper. The court shall allow the victim to make a statement at the hearing. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (11) of this section, if the court determines that the circumstances and behavior of the applicant from the date of conviction, or from the date of arrest as the case may be, to the date of the hearing on the motion warrant setting aside the conviction, or the arrest record as the case may be, it shall enter an appropriate order which shall state the original arrest charge and the conviction charge, if any and if different from the original, date of charge, submitting agency and disposition. The order shall further state that positive identification has been established by the bureau and further identified as to state bureau number or submitting agency number. Upon the entry of such an order, the applicant for purposes of the law shall be deemed not to have been previously convicted, or arrested as the case may be, and the court shall issue an order sealing the record of conviction and other official records in the case, including the records of arrest whether or not the arrest resulted in a further criminal proceeding.
(4) The clerk of the court shall forward a certified copy of the order to such agencies as directed by the court. A certified copy must be sent to the Department of Corrections when the person has been in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Upon entry of such an order, such conviction, arrest or other proceeding shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the applicant may answer accordingly any questions relating to their occurrence.
(5) The provisions of subsection (1)(a) of this section apply to a conviction of:
(a) A Class C felony, except for criminal mistreatment in the first degree under ORS 163.205 when it would constitute child abuse, as defined in ORS 419B.005, or any sex crime.
(b) The crime of possession of the narcotic drug marijuana when that crime was punishable as a felony only.
(c) A crime punishable as either a felony or a misdemeanor, in the discretion of the court, except for:
(A) Any sex crime; and
(B) The following crimes when they would constitute child abuse as defined in ORS 419B.005:
(i) Criminal mistreatment in the first degree under ORS 163.205; and
(ii) Endangering the welfare of a minor under ORS 163.575 (1)(a).
(d) A misdemeanor, including a violation of a municipal ordinance, for which a jail sentence may be imposed, except for endangering the welfare of a minor under ORS 163.575 (1)(a) when it would constitute child abuse, as defined in ORS 419B.005, or any sex crime.
(e) A violation, whether under state law or local ordinance.
(f) An offense committed before January 1, 1972, which if committed after that date would be:
(A) A Class C felony, except for any sex crime or for the following crimes when they would constitute child abuse as defined in ORS 419B.005:
(i) Criminal mistreatment in the first degree under ORS 163.205; and
(ii) Endangering the welfare of a minor under ORS 163.575 (1)(a).
(B) A crime punishable as either a felony or a misdemeanor, in the discretion of the court, except for any sex crime or for the following crimes when they would constitute child abuse as defined in ORS 419B.005:
(i) Criminal mistreatment in the first degree under ORS 163.205; and
(ii) Endangering the welfare of a minor under ORS 163.575 (1)(a).
(C) A misdemeanor, except for endangering the welfare of a minor under ORS 163.575 (1)(a) when it would constitute child abuse, as defined in ORS 419B.005, or any sex crime.
(D) A violation.
(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5) of this section, the provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not apply to:
(a) A person convicted of, or arrested for, a state or municipal traffic offense;
(b) A person convicted, within the 10-year period immediately preceding the filing of the motion pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, of any other offense, excluding motor vehicle violations, whether or not the other conviction is for conduct associated with the same criminal episode that caused the arrest or conviction that is sought to be set aside. Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a conviction which has been set aside under this section shall be considered for the purpose of determining whether this paragraph is applicable; or
(c) A person who at the time the motion authorized by subsection (1) of this section is pending before the court is under charge of commission of any crime.
(7) The provisions of subsection (1)(b) of this section do not apply to a person arrested within the three-year period immediately preceding the filing of the motion for any offense, excluding motor vehicle violations, and excluding arrests for conduct associated with the same criminal episode that caused the arrest that is sought to be set aside.
(8) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section apply to convictions and arrests which occurred before, as well as those which occurred after, September 9, 1971. There shall be no time limit for making such application.
(9) For purposes of any civil action in which truth is an element of a claim for relief or affirmative defense, the provisions of subsection (3) of this section providing that the conviction, arrest or other proceeding be deemed not to have occurred shall not apply and a party may apply to the court for an order requiring disclosure of the official records in the case as may be necessary in the interest of justice.
(10) Upon motion of any prosecutor or defendant in a case involving records sealed under this section, supported by affidavit showing good cause, the court with jurisdiction may order the reopening and disclosure of any records sealed under this section for the limited purpose of assisting the investigation of the movant. However, such an order shall have no other effect on the orders setting aside the conviction or the arrest record.
(11) Unless the court makes written findings by clear and convincing evidence that granting the motion would not be in the best interests of justice, the court shall grant the motion and enter an order as provided in subsection (3) of this section if the defendant has been convicted of one of the following crimes and is otherwise eligible for relief under this section:
(a) Abandonment of a child, ORS 163.535.
(b) Attempted assault in the second degree, ORS 163.175.
(c) Assault in the third degree, ORS 163.165.
(d) Coercion, ORS 163.275.
(e) Criminal mistreatment in the first degree, ORS 163.205.
(f) Attempted escape in the first degree, ORS 162.165.
(g) Incest, ORS 163.525, if the victim was at least 18 years of age.
(h) Intimidation in the first degree, ORS 166.165.
(i) Attempted kidnapping in the second degree, ORS 163.225.
(j) Criminally negligent homicide, ORS 163.145.
(k) Attempted robbery in the second degree, ORS 164.405.
(L) Robbery in the third degree, ORS 164.395.
(m) Supplying contraband, ORS 162.185.
(n) Unlawful use of a weapon, ORS 166.220.
(12) As used in this section, “sex crime” has the meaning given that term in ORS 181.594. [1971 c.434 §2; 1973 c.680 §3; 1973 c.689 §1a; 1973 c.836 §265; 1975 c.548 §10; 1975 c.714 §2; 1977 c.286 §1; 1983 c.556 §1; 1983 c.740 §17; 1987 c.320 §31; 1987 c.408 §1; 1987 c.864 §6; 1989 c.774 §1; 1991 c.830 §6; 1993 c.546 §98; 1993 c.664 §2; 1995 c.429 §9; 1995 c.743 §1; 1999 c.79 §1]

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