A motion to set aside (expungement) is a legal proceeding for sealing a record of a criminal arrest and conviction. After a motion is granted, all official records of the arrest and conviction are sealed. In the eyes of the law, the arrest or conviction did not occur and the record does not exist.

Expungement can be beneficial for job and school applications, acquiring bonding, and other situations that question an individual’s records. The process is not complicated, but it is lengthy. You are not required to hire an attorney for the process. The relevant law regarding an expungement is located at ORS 137.225 and ORS 137.226.

Court and DA’s Office personnel are prohibited by law from providing advice on legal matters, including how to fill out the motion and affidavit. Persons interested in pursuing an expungement will need to research the law or consult with an attorney.  If the motion does not comply with the law or your papers are filled out improperly, an expungement motion may be opposed by the DA or denied by the court.

If you need help or assistance with the process or have legal questions, there are resources.  The Oregon State Bar can refer you to an attorney who may be able to consult with you for a reduced fee.  The lawyer referral service program can be reached at 503-684-3763.  Additionally, there are private attorneys in the area who offer this service and from time to time there are local expungement clinics as well.  More information is available here.