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Can I Get My Record Expunged? Part 2

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Can I Get My Record Expunged? Part 2

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This article is for those considering whether to expunge their criminal record and/or considering hiring an Oregon Expungement attorney to guide them through the Oregon expungement process. The first article (Pt. 1) explained the initial steps in determining whether you’re eligible for this valuable form of relief—expungement.

To recap, there are four steps or phases, broadly speaking, in getting your record expunged in Oregon. They are:

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 Oregon legislature has forbidden many crimes from being expunged, while allowing 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”?

This article will address the second question, namely: Eligible vs. Ineligible Crime(s): Is the at-issue arrest or conviction expungeable? 

First of all, Most class-C felonies and misdemeanors are expungible in Oregon. 

In case you haven’t noticed, the Oregon expungement law, ORS 137.225, is a bitch to read and understand thoroughly. There are exceptions upon exceptions and double negatives all over the place. It’s a model of legalese and circumlocution. But, one way to to find out whether your arrest or conviction is expungeable is to list the crimes that are NOT eligible. If your record doesn’t fit into any of these categories, you are eligible—then, the only question is of when (timing), covered by Essent Law’s Oregon Expungement Guide, Part 3.

The following crimes are not generally eligible for expungement in Oregon:

  • Mere “Traffic Offense”, convictions including DUIIs convictions and successful DUI diversions.
    • See ORS 801.555 for the definition of “traffic offense”.
    • But some good news: you can get many traffic-related arrests expunged
  • Class-A felonies
    • See the particular crime of which you were convicted, which will denote what class of crime—A, B, C—is involved in the Oregon criminal statutes.
  • Child-abuse crimes, as defined in ORS 419B.005.
  • Elder-abuse crimes, that is, against people that are over 65 years-old.
  • Sex crimes, as defined in ORS 181.594. A good practical rule of thumb is that if you have to register, it’s a sex offense, and therefore may not be expungeable.
    • There are exceptions, though, in the Oregon expungement statute. Stated very generally and briefly, if you can get relief from registering as a sex offender, you can often expunge those convictions and if you had a sexual relationship with only one person who was a little under 18, you may be able to expunge that, too. See ORS 137.225.

Most class-C felonies and misdemeanors are expungible in Oregon. Furthermore, for some drug-possession charges, especially those involving marijuana, you can either expunge those convictions directly or go through a two-step process of (1) reducing the felony to a Class-A misdemeanor. Then, after that’s accomplished, filing for expungement.

One last thing. What about Class-B felonies? The short answer is that these convictions are expungeable, but only after 20 years of “good behavior” (no convictions or arrests) after the person is released from incarceration. If you had a conviction after that Class-Beezy, then for most folks, that means that the only way that class-B felony conviction is getting off your record is to have the Oregon governor pardon you—grant your clemency petition. Good luck with that, though it sometimes happens. Stay tuned for Essent Law’s Oregon pardon forthcoming article.

This 20-year-waiting period is a much longer time-frame than all other convictions, as we shall see in the next article, which addresses the timing of when one is eligible to apply for expungement in more detail: Oregon Expungement Guide, Pt. 3.

Certain marijuana class-B felonies can be expunged, too.

Essent Law offers excellent service to those who are considering moving forward with the sensitive, important process of seeking an expungement in the Portland or Willamette Valley areas. Contact us today to tell us about your case and for a consult with Oregon Expungement and civil rights attorney Timothy D. LaBadie.

One of Essent Law’s passions is assisting persons 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. Don’t hesitate. Carpe diem.

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.

Last updated: 7/4/2015 by Oregon expungement and civil rights attorney Timothy D. LaBadie


 

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