An arrest or conviction on your record can change your future, but under some circumstances it is possible to change that record. Oregon state law does not allow expungement, but the reference “setting aside the conviction/arrest” is nearly the same expression, according to the process as outlined by the Washington County Circuit Court. In essence, when the court grants one of these motions, the record of the arrest or the conviction is set aside, so that the applicant is legally not considered to have been arrested or convicted.
If you have only a single conviction, you must wait at least three years before filing the motion to set aside this conviction. The application process is complex, and it takes about three months for the paperwork to go through channels. However, if it is approved, your record will be cleared.
Convictions that do not qualify for a motion to set aside:
- Traffic offenses cannot be set aside or expunged.
- Convictions of Class A and B felonies cannot be set aside.
- Typically, sex crimes cannot be set aside.
Convictions that do qualify for a for a motion to be set aside:
- Class C felony
- Misdemeanors, except violations of county or city ordinances
- A crime that is punishable as a misdemeanor or felony, at the discretion of the court
- A crime involving marijuana, when it is punishable as a felony only
To have a conviction set aside, the defendant must attest to not having any other criminal conviction within the 10-year period before filing the petition. In addition, no criminal cases against the defendant can be currently pending. The defendant must have adhered to the provisions of the sentence. There may be legal issues that come up as you are going through the process, but those problems can be dealt with as they occur.
Expungement or its equivalent is a good option to avoid some of the worst problems following a conviction. An experienced lawyer can help you through the process and alleviate your stress by assisting with paperwork and other details that might be unfamiliar to you.