A criminal record can have a major impact on your entire life. Having a criminal record often means losing out on employment and educational opportunities, and sometimes, an immediate and unfair judgment from other people.
Many criminal convictions are the result of a simple, one-time mistake, and you may feel like you are now being punished for the rest of your life for it. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged, allowing you to move forward with life and make a fresh start without your past mistake haunting you.
Oregon law allows you to have a criminal record expunged 3 years after the date of your conviction, if you have thoroughly complied with all conditions of your sentence. This means serving any jail time, completing all probationary periods and paying any fines. You may also apply for expungement 1 year after an arrest, if no charges were ultimately filed, or immediately after any charges are dismissed or you are acquitted.
However, you must not be arrested or charged with any other offense, except for traffic violations, after your conviction, or 10 years before filing your expungement motion to qualify for expungement.
The expungement process
Once the required time periods have passed, you may apply for expungement. The process is relatively simple, although having an attorney’s guidance can be beneficial, to reduce the chance of complications or delays.
You must complete and file a motion for expungement with the court and submit a set of your fingerprints. A hearing on your motion will be scheduled, and an expungement order will be entered.
There are other potential steps you may need to take. The judge hearing your petition may require you to provide additional documentation or information. The victim of your crime also has the option to speak at your hearing. Following all directions and making a good impression on the court increase your chance of getting your record expunged.