More cases eligible for expungements with SB397


Oregon’s lawmakers finally made some significant and much overdue changes to the expungement law. These changes went into effect January 1, 2022. Here is a quick run down of some of the big changes:

Shorter Wait Time to File For Most Cases

Class B drug and property felonies are now eligible for expungement 7 years from the conviction date or release from imprisonment, whichever is later. This is a big change from the previous law which required a 20 year wait.

Class B and C misdemeanors, violations, and contempt convictions are now eligible for expungement 1 year from the date of conviction or release from imprisonment, whichever is later.

Arrests in which the DA decides not to prosecute (also known as a “no complaint”) are now eligible 60 days from the date of the “no complaint.”

Cases in which the probation was revoked are now eligible after 3 years from the date of revocation. This is also a big change from the previous law requiring a 10 year waiting period.

The only downside with the changes in waiting periods is the wait time for Class C felonies. The new law now requires a 5 year, rather than the previous 3 year wait time. But, there are several ways to work around this time frame. I will discuss these in another post, or feel free to contact me to discuss your situation.

Shorter Wait Time When Expunging Multiple Convictions

The old law required that a person could not have any other conviction within the preceding 10 years. The new law removes the 10 year requirement and inserts the numbers above. For instance, someone expunging a Class A misdemeanor must wait 3 years from conviction and cannot have another conviction within the past 3 years rather than 10 years.

No More Court Filing Fees

Another big change is the removal of the $281 court filing fee for conviction cases. The legislature also changed the $80 OSP fee requirement to an “actual cost” requirement. OSP has set the actual cost of performing a background check for conviction cases at $33. There is no OSP fee for arrest only cases.

Limit on DA Response Time

The law now gives the DA a 120 day limit to file an objection to an expungement. The time limit is from the date the expungement was filed with the court. If the court does not receive an objection from the DA by this deadline, the court shall grant the motion.

I am pleased the see the legislature finally recognize the hardships and stigma experienced by people with criminal arrest or conviction records. And I hope that these changes will allow more eligible people to have their records cleared and move forward with a clean slate.