A criminal record or arrest can follow you all through your life. When you apply for a job, mortgage, loan, or try to rent an apartment, the record can affect your chances of getting approval. Few people are aware that the law accepts your right to start over in some states like Oregon by getting an expungement of your records. While it is not mandatory to hire the services of expungement lawyers, it is highly recommended as the process will be a breeze with professional help. As long as you’re eligible, all court documentation of your arrest will be sealed or destroyed like it never existed. You can legally deny that any arrest or conviction ever took place.
An Expungement in Oregon Takes Time, But It Can be Done
Applying for and getting an expungement is explained in Oregon State Law ORS 137.225. Although the process takes time, you must conduct the necessary research into the paperwork and then complete and file the application accurately. Do keep in mind that any errors can result in the DA opposing the motion and the court dismissing your request.
Step 1 – Acquire the Forms and Fingerprint Card
Depending on whether you fulfill the conditions for expungement, you’ll acquire any one of the Set Aside Packets A, B, or C forms. For instance, if you’ve only been arrested for a charge, but the case was not filed in a court of law, you’ll get Set Aside Packet A. The package contains a motion, affidavit, and proof of service. You’ll visit a police agency to apply for a Fingerprint Card and provide a set of fingerprints. Make sure the card carries the notation – Motion for Setting Aside Arrest Record.
Step 2 – Complete and Submit the Forms
After completing the forms, you’ll get your signature on the Affidavit notarized or witnessed by the Court Clerk. You don’t even need to visit a notary in person as you can notarize your documents online. You’ll also need to provide photo identification. Once you file the documents, you’ll receive a case number that should be mentioned on all the forms. Make copies of the completed papers and submit one set to the District Attorney’s Office. File the original documents in the circuit court, and save one set.
Step 3 – A Hearing is Scheduled
The court schedules a hearing around 90 days from the date when you file the paperwork. The DA sends your fingerprints to the State Identification Bureau to verify your identity. They’ll confirm that you don’t have any ongoing convictions, pending cases, or any other incidents that make you ineligible for an expungement in Oregon. Here’s what happens next:
- If the District Attorney does not oppose the motion, the hearing is canceled. The DA prepares an order and forwards it to the judge. If the Court accepts the request, your records are sealed permanently.
- If the DA opposes the motion, the hearing progresses where the Court examines the facts of the action and determines if your records can be sealed.
Eligibility for Expungement
Several factors influence your eligibility for getting expungement in Oregon. Here are some of them:
- The type of charges or convictions for which you were arrested, some crimes or cases cannot be sealed.
- 3 years have passed since the date of your first conviction.
- The charges were dismissed in court.
- You have not been arrested in the last 3 years.
- All previous sentences have been completed.
- You don’t have any pending cases or convictions in the last 10 years.
If you’ve chosen to pay your dues and start over as a responsible citizen, get an expungement, and erase your mistakes.