Five Crucial Considerations When Choosing an Expungement Lawyer in Oregon

The process of expungement — or clearing a criminal record — can be complex and intricate, requiring a nuanced understanding of state and federal law, as well as a keen ability to work with various law enforcement agencies and the court system. If you’re seeking an expungement in Oregon, it’s critical to choose an attorney with the right experience and expertise. Here are five things you should consider before hiring an expungement lawyer:

  1. Comprehensive Background Investigation

First and foremost, a competent expungement lawyer should conduct a thorough background investigation. Ideally, this investigation should be performed through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information obtained through such a comprehensive check can ensure the expungement process is as thorough and effective as possible, leaving no stone unturned in seeking to clear your record.

  1. Meticulous Court Order Proposals

Your expungement lawyer should also be capable of submitting a meticulously detailed proposed order to the Court. It’s not enough to include just the basic information required by the statute; the proposed order should contain all relevant case details. The agencies that process these orders won’t remove what isn’t explicitly ordered by the court, so it’s crucial that your lawyer ensures that every piece of pertinent information is included in the court pleadings.

  1. Timely Confirmatory Background Checks

Upon completion of the expungement process, your lawyer should order a confirmatory background check — but timing is crucial here. The check should be completed long enough after the judge signs the expungement order to give the relevant agencies time to process the order. Currently, it takes about four months for this process to be completed in Oregon. By conducting a confirmatory background check after this period, you can be assured that the agencies have sufficiently processed the expungement. This step is vital in ensuring that your record has been entirely cleared, as expungements are regularly not thoroughly processed, leaving remnants of a criminal history on an individual’s record.

  1. Strong Relationships with Relevant Agencies

A successful expungement lawyer should have established relationships with the Oregon State Police, courts, and other agencies that process expungement orders. These relationships are vital as they often need to update or modify information during and after the expungement process. A lawyer with strong ties to these agencies can ensure a smoother and more efficient process, avoiding unnecessary delays or complications.

  1. Personalized Approach to Each Case

Finally, remember that every expungement case is unique. While flat fees may be acceptable, there’s no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to expungement. Every client’s record is different, and each court and police agency has its own procedures and quirks. An effective expungement lawyer should understand these complexities and be able to fully evaluate individual situations to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.

In Summary:

Asking attorneys these questions and choosing an attorney whose practice concentrates on expungement and rights restoration can make all the difference in successfully navigating the expungement process. With these five considerations in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to select an attorney who can provide the comprehensive, personalized legal assistance you need to clear your record and move forward with your life.