How do I Answer Background Check Questions after a Set Aside or Expungement?

When an Oregon conviction is set aside, it gives the person the ability to act and answer as if the conviction never occurred. The purpose of the set aside statute is to enhance employment and other opportunities, so it would not make sense if a person had to admit to a set aside conviction. To be clear, a successful set aside lets a person deny the conviction ever occurred on job applications and other official paperwork.

A successful set aside gives you the right to deny a conviction, but it does not mean people who know about the conviction have to pretend it did not occur. Therefore, it is important to set aside a conviction as soon as it is eligible. Once a potential employer knows about it, setting it aside or expunging a conviction does not require them to forget.

Some background investigations ask specifically about expungements and set asides. The Oregon State Bar asks this question, as do some medical schools, and other institutions. This is a tough question to answer and probably requires legal advice.

On the one hand, you undoubtedly have the right to deny the occurrence of a conviction. On the other hand, the institution asking the question undoubtedly has the right to use a conviction, or the fact that you denied it against you if they know about it. This is the kind of legal gray area that requires experienced guidance.

If you have questions about how to deal with a background check, please call Lohrke Law to schedule a free consultation.