We all have a few skeletons in our closets we wish could disappear. If yours is a criminal record, there may be hope! You may not realize it’s possible to erase your record – a process called “expungement” – and shut the door on the past forever.
How do you know if you meet the requirements for an expungement? This article will outline the important things to understand when clearing your record. Plus, we’ll share our free tool to help you find out whether or not you’re eligible for an expungement.
Do you have an arrest or conviction you’d like to get expunged?
What does it mean when your record is expunged?
When you have a past arrest or conviction expunged from your record, it’ll be as if the indescrection never happened. All your court documents will be destroyed and the case will never show up in background checks.
It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not!
Have you been offered a job and now they’re asking about your criminal record? Once your record is expunged, you can legally deny you were ever arrested or convicted on employment applications and other similar documents.
Legally, it’s as if the past mistake never happened. You can go through life without the fear of the past getting in the way.
6 signs you’re eligible for an expungement in Oregon
The reality is not everyone will be eligible for an expungement. Though the expungement process is simple, qualifications are specific.
Let’s review the 6 eligibility factors.
1. Your type of conviction or arrest is legally eligible for expungement
In the state of Oregon, not every type of arrest and conviction is eligible for expungement. Types of cases that are eligible include:
- Drug possession and related crimes – Most misdemeanor drug charges and nearly all marijuana offenses are eligible. Also expungeable are Class B and Class C felony convictions for possession of most drugs, including Schedule 1 Substances.
- Domestic violence & assault – Eligibility for expungement for these types of crimes depends on the degree of assault and the number of domestic violence convictions on your record
- Burglary & theft – Most third degree robberies are easily expungeable
- Other misdemeanor & Class B/C felonies – Many misdemeanor and Class B or Class C felonies can be reversed. It’s always best to check your eligibility with an experienced attorney to know for sure
Types of cases that are not eligible for expungement include:
- DUII and traffic offenses
- Class A felonies (except those relating to marijuana)
- Most sex crimes
- Class A & B robberies
- Child & elder abuse and assault
- Most drug delivery and manufacturing charges
2. It’s been 3 years since the date of your conviction
Many people wrongly assume they can expunge their record immediately after being convicted. In fact, you must wait at least 3 years from conviction before you’re eligible to seek out an expungement.
3. You have not been arrested within the past 3 years
In addition to waiting 3 years since your conviction, you must not have had any arrests during that 3-year period. This includes arrests in any other states or any citations for violations.
4. Your charge was dismissed in court
Did you know: even if your case is dismissed, the record of it still exists? If your crime was brought to court but then dismissed, you can seek an expungement immediately. You don’t need to go through the 3 year waiting period.
5. You’ve completed all required sentencing
In order for your crime to be expungeable, you must have fully completed all sentencing given at the time of conviction. This includes:
- Community service
- Any other court-ordered sentencing
6. You do not have any pending criminal court cases or convictions within the past 10 years
Lastly, in order to be eligible for an expungement, you cannot have any other pending cases or convictions within the last 10 years. This includes cases or convictions in other states, or any other charges as part of the case you want to expunge.
Still not sure if you meet the requirements?
How an expungement works
When you work with an experienced Oregon expungement attorney, the process for clearing your record is straightforward. The most difficult part is waiting for the expungement to finalize, as it takes several months for all your expungement documents to process.
The process for a successful expungement works like this:
- Hire an expungement attorney to guide you through paperwork, ensuring it’s completed and processed correctly
- Obtain and complete a legal fingerprint card
- Complete and notarize an affidavit
- All documents will go through the process of an OSP background check, District Attorney review, and signature approvals
- 3-4 months later, your signed expungement order (and your cleared record) will be official
What an expungement means for your future
If you’re on the fence about whether or not an expungement is the best choice, consider all the ways clearing your record will give you a fresh start. You’ll no longer have the looming danger of a past conviction holding you back and affecting your day-to-day life.
Perhaps it’s better to think about how your arrest or conviction is currently holding you back. Did you know that as a convicted criminal, it will be difficult if not impossible to...
- Volunteer at your child’s school
- Obtain a mortgage with competitive interest rates or rent the home you want
- Easily obtain professional certifications and licenses
- Travel internationally
- Own a firearm
And that’s just the beginning.
Don’t let a past mistake affect the rest of your life.
Get the Help of an Oregon Expungement Attorney
Gabriel Biello is an experienced expungement attorney helping clients throughout Portland and all of Oregon. We help our clients with all types of Oregon expungement cases, including those involving drug possession, theft, burglary, domestic violence, and more!
Check your eligibility for expungement today. If you meet the requirements, a brighter future is just around the corner!