Can I Set Aside (Or Expunge) A Conviction In Oregon?

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Answered by: Jesse Lohrke

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A criminal conviction can follow you for life. 

It can affect many areas, including employment, housing, the right to possess firearms, and more. 

Fortunately, many people who have been convicted of misdemeanor and felony crimes in Oregon can find relief through the set-aside process. 

A set-aside essentially erases the criminal conviction from an individual’s record. It is as if the conviction never occurred. 

Is It An Expungement Or A Set-Aside? 

Many people are familiar with the word “expungement,” but technically speaking, the process of getting an adult conviction cleared from a record is called a set-aside in Oregon.

Marijuana Crimes Have Special Provisions 

In the thick of the War on Drugs, many people were convicted of marijuana crimes. Many of those individuals thought their conviction would follow them forever. People who were told their convictions could never be set aside are now eligible to clear their Oregon criminal records due to changes in the law.

Thanks to other positive changes in Oregon law, Class B felony drug possession convictions are also now eligible to be set aside, as well as many other convictions.

What Does A Set-Aside Do? 

A set-aside is a powerful legal process that has a tremendous positive impact on someone’s life. If granted, it is as though the conviction never occurred.

Police reports are sealed or destroyed. The court record is sealed and no longer visible electronically to court staff when searching by case number. If you were previously a felon, you are now a non-felon. You can deny that you ever had a felony conviction and it will no longer appear as part of your criminal history on a background check. 

Not All Crimes Apply 

Not every conviction is eligible for a set-aside. 

Certain Oregon convictions are not eligible to be set aside. Most federal crimes are not eligible for set-asides in Oregon.

Even if an individual has been convicted of a crime that is not eligible for a set-aside, they may be able to get the offense reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. There may also be other ways to restore lost rights. It is advisable to speak to an attorney to find out what options exist based on individual circumstances. 

When Can I Apply? 

Generally, an individual can seek a set-aside three years after a conviction if they have remained conviction-free during that time. If the individual was convicted of multiple offenses, they can seek a set-aside after 10 years of law-abiding behavior. 

The process of obtaining a set-aside will generally take anywhere from three to six months after a motion is filed. 

A Set-Aside Can Open Doors 

A set-aside can improve employment and housing prospects, restore firearm rights, provide peace of mind, and so much more. 

If you are wondering if you qualify for a set-aside, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer about your individual situation. In a brief consultation, eligibility and costs can usually be determined. Additional information can be found at or by scheduling a free consultation with Jesse Lohrke.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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