Clearing Your Oregon Criminal Record
Oregon attorney Mike Arnold handles statewide expungements of criminal records, including arrests, convictions, and police reports. With Oregon’s eCourt filing system, you can expunge criminal records with relative ease. Your Eugene attorney can expunge a crime anywhere in the state of Oregon with no travel fees required. It typically costs between $750 to $1000 plus filing fees and the fingerprint card.
The criminal record sealing system requires several forms, a filing fee, and fingerprint records of the defendant. In order to qualify for an expungement in Oregon, your Eugene lawyer must wait until three years before filing the Motion to Set Aside the Arrest/Conviction if you have only one crime/one count on your record or ten years if you have more than one.
If you do not have any convictions and only wish to have an arrest or dismissed case expunged, that can be done at anytime after the dismissal. This includes Lane County or other Circuit Courts or Eugene Municipal Court or other muni courts.
You can expunge most Oregon cases that are Class C felonies or misdemeanors except you cannot expunge any sex crimes, such as sex abuse, or driving crimes, such as reckless driving and DUII. However, you can expunge sexual harassment, Coercion, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Assault IV, etc.
How can I expunge a crime in Oregon?
An expungement (also known as “expunction” in the Oregon Revised Statutes) or a Motion to Set Aside is the legal process where a person’s criminal arrest and/or conviction (judgment) disappears as if you were never arrested or convicted, a legal fiction so to speak. The actual record (the entire court file, the pleadings, and court notes) that is in the circuit court is “sealed.” Additionally, all the police agencies that were involved in the investigation and original legal case are ordered to seal (destroy) their paperwork and records as well.
There are four scenarios where someone may need to have to expunge something in Oregon. The first scenario is where someone was only arrested and not charged with or convicted of any crime. To successfully petition the court for an expungement, one year must have passed since the arrest.
The second scenario is when someone was arrested and charges were filed but they were convicted of nothing. This occurs when charges were dismissed by the district attorney, by the court, or when a jury or judge found the person not guilty of the charged crime. There is no wait for filing for an expungement in this scenario.
The next scenario occurs when someone wasn’t arrested but charges were filed anyway by the Lane County district attorney or Eugene City Prosecutor (and you were sent a letter of a notice to appear). Then, the case was dismissed or the criminal defendant was acquitted. There is no wait for this scenario either.
The fourth scenario occurs when someone was convicted of a crime after an arrest and after charges were filed. This conviction could be by a guilty plea (most common) or a conviction after a bench (judge) or jury trial. This is the toughest scenario. You must wait three or ten years to apply to have the conviction and your record expunged. You have to wait ten years if there was more than one case or charge (even if in one case) in your history that you were convicted for or if there was more than one count. See the expungement examples below.
Can I expunge my criminal record in Oregon? EXAMPLES:
1. The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct and two years has passed. YOU CANNOT EXPUNGE THIS.
2. The defendant was found guilty in a jury trial of an assault in the fourth degree and three years has passed. YOU CAN EXPUNGE THIS.
3. The defendant pleaded guilty to both disorderly conduct and Assault IV and four years have passed. YOU CANNOT EXPUNGE THIS YET. YOU MUST WAIT TEN YEARS and stay out of trouble.
4. The defendant was convicted of Assault II and eleven years have passed. NO EXPUNCTION. This is not a Class C felony.
5. The defendant was convicted of disorderly conduct in Year 1 and then Coercion in Year 10. NO EXPUNGEMENT IS AVAILABLE FOR ANOTHER TEN YEARS. You must wait ten years from the last conviction to expunge any of them.
6. The defendant was convicted of reckless driving and waits eleven years. NO EXPUNGEMENT (driving crime).
Be sure to get your fingerprint card from the sheriff’s office, such as the Lane County Sheriff’s Office. You will have to pay for this.
The process once completed sometimes takes as long as six months for the DA’s Office to complete its investigation. After the court signs the order sealing the file, don’t be surprised if the conviction still shows up in background checks by employers. Oftentimes, the data in private systems is outdated and gathered from old public records.
How much does it cost to expunge a crime in Oregon?
Attorney fees on cases like expungements are typically charged by the hour with a moderate retainer deposit to pay attorney fees and costs or by a flat fee plus payment of the filing fee.
For more information about expungement Oregon crimes, call the Eugene law firm of Mike Arnold at 541-797-0110. Call or text 24/7.