Oregon expungement law has seen some dramatic changes in the past few years. Senate Bill 397 took effect January 1, 2022. It reduces most set aside timelines and has a profound effect on overall eligibility. Previously having multiple convictions, even if they were from the same case, resulted in a requirement to wait for 10 years.
Now, however, expungement of eligible Class B felony convictions is possible after just seven years, with even shorter required periods for lower-level crimes, even when there are multiple convictions at issue. Here are the most important changes to Oregon expungement law:
- Cost Reduction of at least $281 per case by elimination of court filing fees.
- Non-person Class B Felonies are eligible to be set aside after seven years with no convictions.
- Class C Felonies are eligible to be set aside after five years with no convictions.
- Class A Misdemeanors are eligible to be set aside after three years with no convictions.
- Class B and C Misdemeanors, Contempt of Court, and violations are eligible to be set aside after one year with no convictions.
- Many Class B Felony Convictions can now be Set Aside!
Drug offenses are the most significant category of Class B Felony convictions that are now eligible for expungement. These convictions are now eligible seven years after an individual’s last conviction. These offenses include Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Aggravated Identity Theft. Before Senate Bill 397 took effect, these convictions could not be set aside until twenty years had elapsed, and even then, only if there had been no other arrest or conviction in that time.
What These Changes Mean
The change in law is a common sense overhaul to Oregon expungement law, ORS 137.225, to allow most drug offenses to be set aside after a person shows a substantial period of lawful behavior. The new law helps people who got their lives on track and want to move forward without their past mistakes limiting their future potential.
The law does not help people who sell methamphetamine or other hard drugs to minors. In general, those convictions are Class A felonies and they are never eligible for expungement under current law. There are other ineligible crimes as well, including convictions for child abuse and elder abuse, most sex crimes, and driving crimes.
We have talked to many people over the years who could not set aside a conviction, who are now eligible. If you were told in the past that your convictions were not eligible for expungement it is worth checking again.
It is common that a person had several cases that qualified for expungement under the old law, but they were stuck with one or more convictions for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance that could not be removed from their record.
Frequently, the offense involved a small transaction with a friend or possession of user quantities. Even with everything else cleaned up, the remaining Class B felony drug conviction often led to discrimination in many walks of life.
How Can A Felony Impact You?
A felony conviction certainly impacts people in many significant ways. A person could be disqualified from being a paid caretaker for a family member. A relative hoping to help foster a family member in need may be deemed ineligible due to a past conviction.
One of the most frequently highlighted effects of a felony conviction is the loss of firearm rights. A felony conviction even impacts your ability to sit on a jury. However, background checks are run in many other settings, including:
- Bank loans
- Volunteer screening
Instant background checks are available to almost anyone these days, thanks to numerous web services offering comprehensive, low-cost reports. Conviction histories can have an effect on a person’s social and personal life as others find out about their record.
Lohrke Law Is Here to Help
It is significant that we can now help people finally get these convictions off their records. If you were told you were ineligible in the past due to a drug delivery or other Class B felony conviction, you need to talk to an expungement lawyer and find out if the changes to Oregon expungement law might now allow your case to be set aside and sealed.