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Expungement in Oregon: What Is Expungement

Expungement refers to the legal process by which a person's criminal record is set aside or sealed, effectively removing the record from public view. It’s a means of giving individuals with past convictions a fresh start and a second chance by erasing or limiting the visibility of their criminal history. 

Expungement laws in Oregon allow eligible individuals to petition the court to have their records expunged. The process and eligibility criteria vary depending on the type of conviction, the time that has passed since the conviction, and other factors. Generally, certain misdemeanor and felony convictions can be expunged, while more serious offenses such as sex crimes and violent offenses are often not eligible for expungement.

Oregon Expungement Law

Expungement Laws In Oregon

Expungement in Oregon can have significant benefits for individuals seeking employment, housing, or other opportunities. Once a record is expunged, the person can legally state that they have not been convicted of the expunged offense on job applications and other forms. However, it's important to note that certain entities, such as law enforcement agencies and certain employers, may still have access to expunged records. 

Why Seek Expungement? 

There are several reasons why someone would seek expungement of their criminal record: 

1. Employment Opportunities: A criminal record can significantly impact a person's job prospects. Many employers conduct background checks, and a record of past convictions can hinder employment opportunities. 

2. Housing: Landlords and property management companies often conduct background checks on potential tenants. A criminal record can make it difficult to secure housing, especially in competitive rental markets.

3. Professional Licenses: Certain professions, such as those in healthcare, education, or law, require professional licenses. A criminal record may affect the ability to obtain or maintain these licenses.

4. Education and Financial Aid: Some educational institutions and financial aid programs may consider a person's criminal record during the admissions or financial aid process. 

5. Personal and Reputation: Expungement offers individuals a chance to regain their privacy and protect their personal reputation. It can provide a sense of closure, allowing them to move forward without the stigma associated with a criminal record. 

6. Rights Restoration: Expungement can help restore certain rights that may have been limited due to a criminal conviction. These rights may include voting rights, firearm rights, and the ability to serve on juries.

Eligibility Requirements for Expungement in Oregon 


While specific criteria can differ, there are general guidelines to consider when it comes to expungement eligibility. Typically certain misdemeanor and felony convictions can be expunged, while more serious offenses such as sex crimes and violent offenses are not eligible. 

One important factor is the waiting period after completing the sentence. Oregon law often requires individuals to demonstrate good behavior and a clean record during this waiting period, which can range from three to ten years depending on the offense. First-time offenders and individuals who have completed diversion programs may be eligible for expedited expungement. 

Felony Expungement in Oregon 

Felonies that are commonly eligible for expungement include non-violent offenses such as drug possession, property crimes, and certain types of theft. These offenses may be expunged if the individual meets the eligibility requirements, including the waiting period and good behavior. On the other hand, there are felonies that are restricted and generally not eligible for expungement. These typically include serious crimes such as violent offenses, sex crimes, homicide, and certain repeat offenses.

Restricted felonies are considered more severe and have a higher likelihood of being excluded from the expungement process. It's important to note that eligibility for expungement can also depend on other factors, such as the specific circumstances of the offense, the individual's criminal history, and any additional legal requirements or exceptions outlined in the Oregon statutes.

Crimes that are statutorily not eligible include: 

  • Criminal Mistreatment (if constituting elder abuse) 

  • Endangering the Welfare of a Minor (if constituting child abuse)

  • Criminally Negligent Homicide 

  • Assault in the Third Degree (If the victim was under 10 years of age)

  • A Sex Crime (unless you have been granted relief from the registry requirement) 

  • Traffic Crimes such as DUI’s reckless driving, or eluding in a vehicle.

How to get my record expunged in Oregon? 

To get your record expunged in Oregon, you need to follow a specific process. While the exact steps may vary depending on your situation, here is a general overview: 

1. Determine eligibility: Review the eligibility requirements for expungement in Oregon. Factors such as the type of conviction, time passed since the conviction, and your behavior since completing the sentence will affect your eligibility. 

2. Obtain court records: Gather all relevant court records related to your conviction, including the case number, date of conviction, and charges involved. 

3. Prepare the petition: Draft a petition for expungement, which will include your personal information, details of the conviction, and reasons for seeking expungement. Be thorough and accurate when completing the required forms. 

4. File the petition: File the completed petition with the circuit court of the county where the conviction occurred. Pay any required filing fees, which can vary by county. Ensure that you provide all necessary documentation and meet any specific court requirements. 

5. Serve notice: Serve notice of the expungement petition to all relevant parties, including the district attorney and any other entities specified by the court. Follow the court's guidelines regarding service methods and timelines. 

6. Attend the hearing: If your petition is contested or a hearing is required, be prepared to present your case before the court. Provide any supporting evidence or witnesses that can attest to your rehabilitation or good conduct. 

7. Await the decision: The court will review your petition and consider any objections or arguments presented. They will then issue a decision to grant or deny the expungement request. If approved, your record will be set aside or sealed.

Oregon Expungement Statute 

The Oregon expungement statute is outlined in the Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) Chapter 137.225. This statute provides the legal framework for the expungement process in Oregon, including the eligibility requirements, procedures, and limitations. 

The expungement statute in Oregon sets forth the criteria for determining which convictions can be expunged and the conditions that must be met. It specifies the types of offenses that are generally eligible for expungement, such as certain misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, while excluding more serious offenses like sex crimes and violent offenses. The statute also establishes waiting periods after completing the sentence, during which individuals must demonstrate good behavior and a clean record to become eligible for expungement. 

Additionally, the expungement statute outlines the process for filing a petition for expungement, including the required forms, documentation, and court fees. It describes the obligations of the court, the district attorney, and other parties involved in reviewing the expungement petitions. 

Can You Expunge a DUI in Oregon? 

In Oregon, the laws regarding DUI and DUII are known to be strict. Under current Oregon law, DUI convictions cannot be expunged. This means that even if you have completed a diversion program or if your DUI conviction has been dismissed, the record of the DUI offense will remain on your record permanently. 

Oregon's stance on DUI expungement reflects the seriousness with which the state treats DUI offenses. DUI convictions can have significant consequences, including fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, probation, and potential incarceration. What is the “Motion to Set Aside?” 

In Oregon, the term "motion to set aside" is often used interchangeably with the concept of expungement. A motion to set aside is typically filed as part of the expungement process. When filing a motion to set aside in Oregon, individuals are essentially asking the court to revisit their conviction and consider removing it from their record. The motion provides an opportunity for individuals to present their case and demonstrate their eligibility for expungement based on the applicable laws and criteria. If the court grants a Motion to Set Aside, it will notify all state agencies to erase the records wherever they may exist. After this has taken place, the applicant can legally say that no conviction, arrest, or charge has occurred. 


How Kollie Law Can Help With Your Expungement 

We pride ourselves on our extensive experience and deep knowledge of the legal system, making us the best option when you need expert legal assistance with expungements or any other legal matters. Our team understands the intricacies of the expungement process and can guide you through every step with professionalism. We are dedicated to helping individuals achieve a fresh start and regain control of their futures.

*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. You should obtain independent legal counsel regarding your specific factual situation.

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