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Can I Get My Record Expunged? Part 1

Can I Get My Record Expunged? Part 1

Oregon expungement is of immense value to those who are trying to wipe their slate clean in order to progress professionally and career-wise—and otherwise put past mistakes behind them.

Essent Law offers Oregon expungement attorney services and counsel because of the great difference it can make in a person’s life and prospects. The benefits thereof are many, and have been covered in a prior article, Oregon Expungement — What You Should Know.

Determining eligibility is, broadly speaking, a four-step process. You, or an Oregon expungement lawyer, have to determine:

  1. Arrest vs. Conviction — Are you seeking to expunge an arrest or conviction, or both?
  2. Eligible vs. Ineligible Crime — Is the at-issue arrest or conviction expungeable? (The legislature has forbidden many crimes from being expunged and allowed others). 
  3. When or Timing — If it is expungeable, when can I apply for expungement?
  4. Success — How likely is it that the judge will grant my particular expungement “petition”?

(To answer these questions properly, you may need to obtain your full criminal history from the Oregon State Police or comb the Oregon court databases. You can request a full report of your Oregon criminal record here). Essent Law can search and analyze the Oregon court databases for you, starting at $25, which is often included if you retain us).

Essent Law offers Oregon Expungement Attorney Services and counsel because of the great difference it can make in a person’s life and prospects.

This four-piece article will address these steps, or legal issues, in turn. Note that the two greatest hurdles to having one’s record expunged are #2 (types of crimes that are or are not eligible) and #3 (the amount of time that you must wait before you are allowed to apply for this relief).

1. Are you dealing with an arrest or conviction? 

Arrests — Distinguishing between arrests and convictions is important because an arrest that never led to a conviction is more often expungeable—it’s usually only a question of when that arrest can be expunged. And you can usually expunge arrests (and very often diversion falls under the heading of “arrest”) a lot sooner than a conviction. If you or a loved one is wondering about whether you can expunge a diversion in Oregon, see expungement attorney Timothy LaBadie’s article here.

But back to the question of, “When can I expunge my arrest?” Let’s make this clearer. Say you were arrested for a crime or several crimes, but were never actually convicted of anything—you never pled guilty, you never were pronounced guilty by a judge or jury; you can almost always expunge that arrest sooner than the conviction. The big provisos here are that (1) DUII arrests that resulted in successful diversion can’t be expunged in Oregon. And, (2) you cannot have any arrests within the last three years.

In contrast, convictions are more difficult to get expunged because you run more fully up against hurdle #2 (eligible vs. ineligible crimes) and you must almost always longer for this legal remedy. Note this well: “Conviction” means you pled guilty in a plea bargain or were found guilty by a judge or jury after a trial, and will often not include diversion.

It’s also essential to separate arrests and convictions for purposes of filing Oregon expungement motions, affidavits, etc. with the court. It also affects fees: if you are expunging a conviction, you’ll have to pay a $252 filing fee (as of 2015) per motion, plus $80 for a mandatory OSP background check, both of which are paid to the State of Oregon.

In sum, an arrest is easier to expunge because you almost always have to wait less time—you have to wait only one year, as opposed to three or ten or twenty years for convictions). And it saves you hundreds of dollars.

The question of whether the at-issue arrest or conviction is expungeable is more complex, and will therefore be the subject of the next article.

…an arrest is easier to expunge because you almost always have to wait less time—you have to wait only one year, as opposed to three or ten or twenty years for convictions). And it saves you hundreds of dollars.

Of course, if you are looking to have your record expunged, do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation. One of Essent Law’s passions is assisting persons to recover from past mistakes and reclaiming their good standing. Call or write us today regarding your or a loved one’s expungement, information, assistance, and counsel. Essent Law llc offers offers Oregon expungement attorney services in every Oregon county, including Marion, Deschutes, Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Lane, and other counties, including the cities of Portland, Salem, Bend, and Eugene and surrounding areas.

Black and White Photo of Juror Room in Old Courthouse

Last updated: 7/3/2015 by Oregon expungement and civil rights attorney Timothy D. LaBadie


 

 

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