Can I Reduce My Felony to a Misdemeanor in Oregon?

If a person has been arrested or convicted of a crime, it is possible to have that arrest or conviction removed through a process called expungement, or expunction. If this process is approved and completed, the offense is considered “set aside” and can be treated as if it never happened. This is important for the purposes of stating on a job application that you have never been arrested or convicted of a crime. It should be noted that information regarding arrests and convictions can still be discovered through background checks and other means.

How Can Reducing My Felony in Oregon Help Me?

In today’s world, our past mistakes can follow us, even if it has been years or decades since the incident occurred. These mistakes can resurface during employment applications, rental and mortgage loan applications, and any situation where a background check is required, such school volunteering. Should an arrest or felony be discovered during any of these processes, it can ruin the possibility of getting that job, that apartment, or even accruing a professional license.

What Sort of Offenses Can Be Reduced or Removed?

The Oregon Revised Statutes section 161.705 does allow for persons convicted of certain felonies to petition to have those felonies reduced to Class A misdemeanors. Offenses that can be reduced or removed include:

  • Class C Felonies
  • Class B Felony for unlawful delivery of marijuana
  • Class A Felony Racketeering activity

Offenses that CANNOT be expunged or reduced include Class A and Class B felonies, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI offenses, and sex crimes. Violent felonies as covered by Ballot Measure 11 are also not eligible to be set aside. Other conditions that can disqualify one for felony reduction are pending criminal charges, convictions that have occurred within the last ten years, and failure to complete the terms of the sentence, or a mandatory waiting period that may be imposed depending on the severity of the crime.

Can My Arrest Record Be Expunged?

If there is a record of an arrest but charges were not filed in court, the record of the arrest may be set aside after a one year waiting period. If charges were brought, but the case was dismissed, or the trial ended in an acquittal, one may apply to set aside the record of the proceedings immediately following the dismissal or acquittal. Either situation mandates qualifications of no non-traffic offenses in the last ten years, no other set aside convictions in the last ten years, and the person petitioning for set aside cannot currently be undergoing prosecution for any other crimes.