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Can I Get My Record Expunged? Part 3

Black and White Photo of Man Climbing Side of Clock Tower

Can I Get My Record Expunged? Part 3

Black and White Photo of Man Climbing Clock Tower

This article is for those considering whether to expunge their criminal record or considering hiring an Oregon expungement lawyer to lead 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, the second article addressed the types of crimes that are (or are not) eligible for expungement, and this article will address the next major issue of timing: if the crime is otherwise eligible, exactly when can I petition the court for relief?

Proviso: one cannot apply for expungement with any charges currently pending, and the answers below assume that no charges are pending.

Most, but not all, expungement conviction cases fall into three main categories as far as timing goes. See which describes you or a loved one. You are eligible in the following circumstances:

1. A single adult conviction + 3 years of good behavior: You were convicted of only one, single crime as an adult, and you fully completed your sentence (probation and/or period of incarceration). You’re thus eligible in three years from the date you pled guilty or were found guilty by a judge or jury to expunge your conviction or an arrest.

2. More than one adult conviction + 10 years of good behavior: If you’ve been convicted of more then two crimes within the last ten years, you’re not eligible. Put differently, you have to have ten years of good behavior before you are eligible to expunge your criminal record. The rationale here seems to be that if a person made an isolated poor choice, and received a single convition, that person should be eligible within three years. Contrariwise, if a person had mulitple convictions over time or had a serious criminal episode that resulted in multiple convictions, then that person ought to have to more clearly demonstrate rehabilitation (good behavior). Hence the three-year vs. ten-year difference.

One major exception: If the only other conviction during the last ten years is a conviction for a violation, you can, starting in 2016, nevertheless, expunge those convictions.

Here’s an example to make this clearer: John had three convictions on his record, two of which were within the last ten years. One of these convictions was for a

3. Class-B Felony + Twenty 20 years of good behavior: As mentioned in the previous article (Pt. 2), if the conviction you are seeking to expunge is a class-B felony, you must wait twenty years after completing your sentence and have no other convictions thereafter.

There are two important things to note that often arise for people seeking expungement and determine when you can file your petition:

First: Normally, your eligibility starts running from when you were sentenced—and not when you completed your sentence (e.g., released from probation or incarceration).

But, if you had your probation revoked or had a class-B felony conviction, the “clock” starts ticking at a date other than when you were sentenced. This means you have to wait longer before you’re entitled to get your record expunged.

Second: The Oregon expungement statute, ORS 137.225(1)(a), states that to be eligible to even apply, you must have “fully complied with and performed the sentence of the court”. That raises the question: “What does that language mean, exactly? What if I had my probation revoked, does that mean I am ineligible?” The short answer used to be that you are, nevertheless, still eligible to apply, but if the D.A. opposes your petition and requests a hearing in front of the judge to contest your expungement, the judge may deny your request on an alternative ground, namely the “circumstances and behavior of the applicant from the date of conviction [or arrest]”.

However, in 2015, the legislature changed the Oregon expungement law. A person who had their probation revoked must now wait ten years after the date on which the court revoked the probation until they can even apply for expungement.

With that said, this is a good point to transition into the final article of this series, Pt. 4, where we discuss the factors that will effect the final outcome of an Oregon expungement petition, assuming that the first three conditions or hurdles are met or overcome.

If your situation doesn’t fall into one of these usual categories, give us a call or write us.

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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