Written by attorney Orion Jacob Nessly

Expungement 101: Five Easy Steps to See if you can get your Record Cleared in Oregon

First, are you trying to expunge an arrest or a conviction?

Expunging Arrests:

Step #1: Were: (a) no charges ever filed, or (b) were the charges against you dismissed, or did you go to trial and get acquitted? If you can answer "yes" to (b), skip Step #2 and move on to Step #3. If you can answer "yes" to (a), go to Step #2. If neither (a) nor (b) apply to your situation, see if you qualify for expungement under the "Convictions" section below.

Step #2: Has it been a full year since the arrest? If not, you must wait for a full year to pass before you can file your motion for expungement. If it has, move on to step #3.

Step #3: Have you been arrested for anything else at all in the past 3 years? If you have, go to Step #4 to see if you still qualify. If you haven't, skip to Step #5.

Step #4: Was the second arrest for a motor vehicle violation or for conduct in the same incident that the first arrest came out of? If you can answer "yes" to either of these, move on to Step #5. If the answer is "no," you'll need to wait until you've gone 3 years arrest-free before you can seek expungement.

Step #5: Did your arrest result in a DUII diversion program? If it did, it is not eligible for expungement. If it did not, you can probably get it expunged. Congratulations!

Expunging Convictions:

Step #1: Does your conviction fit into one of the following categories? If not, it probably cannot be expunged. If it does, move on to Step #2.

  • Class B Felonies not involving a firearm or classified as a "person felony";
  • Class C Felonies;
  • Misdemeanors; or
  • Violations

Step #2: Has it been three full years since your conviction? If it hasn't, you cannot expunge it yet. If it has, move on to Step #3.

Step #3: Have you been convicted of anything else in the past 10 years, except for a motor vehicle violation? If you have, you need to wait until you've gone 10 full years without a single conviction. If you haven't, move on to Step #4.

Step #4: Have you fully complied with all the conditions of your sentence? If not, you need to do so before your conviction can be expunged. If you have, move on to Step #5.

Step #5: Was your conviction for a traffic offense? If it was, then it's not eligible for expungement. If it wasn't a traffic offense, your conviction can probably be expunged. Congratulations!

Author's Note: This is meant to be a quick guide to let you see whether or not you qualify in 5 easy steps. This guide is not meant to be a walkthrough on how to expunge your own record. Instead, my hope is to let you check on your own beforehand to see if you even qualify before you incur any expenses. If you are in a state other than Oregon, expungement will be handled by a different statute and this guide is not meant for you. Also, there are several related issues I've left out for simplicity's sake. If you have additional questions or concerns or if you want help moving forward with an expungement, you should contact an attorney. I, for one, would be glad to help you.

Orion J. Nessly, Attorney at Law

  • Licensed in OR & PA
  • 4040 Douglas Way Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035
  • Office: (503) 635-7773
  • Fax: (503) 334-3614
  • Email: [email protected]

Expungements handled for $300-$600 (flat fee, depending on income)

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