The terms expungement and set aside in terms of Oregon rights restoration law can be confusing because they are often used interchangeably. Expungement, or expunction as it is sometimes referred to, is a commonly used term. However, in the state of Oregon, the process of removing an adult conviction from one’s permanent record is called “setting it aside.” 

Set Aside VS. Expungement

When a person is in the process of doing this, the paperwork filed with the court is a Motion to Set Aside. When a petition is filed to have a juvenile adjudication removed from a record, this is known as an expungement and the necessary paperwork to be filed is called a Motion to Expunge.

What Does Expungement or Set Aside Do?

Expungement can be a misleading term because an order to expunge a conviction or arrest does not rewrite history, deny the occurrence or remove all traces of an event. In very specific circumstances, a judge can even unseal a set aside conviction. What expungement or set aside does is limit the purposes for which official records can be used to examine the past event. It allows a person to legally deny, even under oath, having been arrested or convicted of the offense that has been set aside. Conversely, a juvenile adjudication that is expunged can never be unsealed or exhumed.

When examined in detail it becomes very clear that while expungement and set aside are similar and are often used interchangeably, they are clearly not the same.

This Information is not Legal Advice

The information provided here is not intended to be a substitute for one’s own legal research or the advice of a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Laws and the interpretation of those laws are subject to change at any time, so what was applicable one day may be completely different the next. Legally, each individual case is different and a legal strategy used for one defendant may not be the best course of action for another. Contact an experienced rights restoration lawyer to discuss and understand your particular legal situation.