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New Crimes Eligible for Expungement

Oregon expungement law is about to change in a big way. Many people with Oregon Class B felonies for drug possession, delivery, and other crimes will suddenly become eligible for expungement on January 1, 2016.

Under current law, people who possessed or delivered Schedule I drugs were told they could not expunge their felony for twenty years. If in those twenty years the person so much as jaywalked, an expungement could not be granted— ever.

Under the new law, for most convictions, expungement can happen in three years. If there are two crimes, expungement can happen in ten years. Violations, other than speeding tickets, used to extend the time but no longer do. You can have a single violation that won’t be counted against you.

The war on drugs is hopefully over, and this new Oregon law is a common sense approach to rehabilitation. Being a felon makes you the only class of citizen that can be discriminated against legally. It affects your credit, job opportunities, hunting and home protection rights, housing, and place in your community. Expungement in Oregon, for the most part, erases those disabilities. The crime didn’t happen, mugshots disappear, and you don’t have to answer that you’re a felon. It is the fresh start America is all about.

The current expungement statute is ORS 137.225. The new law to take effect is Senate Bill 908. Call me if you have any questions.