People convicted of a felony have a much more difficult time securing housing, employment, scholarships, and loans. They may not be allowed to volunteer in schools, youth sports, and other organizations. They can’t enter Canada, and they can’t buy or own a firearm.
While other convictions may be eligible for expungement under ORS 137.225, Oregon’s expungement law specifically excludes convictions for “traffic crimes.” Some common traffic felonies include Attempt to Elude a Police Officer, Felony Driving While Suspended, and Failure To Perform Duties of Driver (also known as Hit & Run) -Injury.
These felony charges may be eligible for reduction to misdemeanors. Once a judge reduces a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, the person is no longer a felon and can enjoy all the rights and privileges non felons enjoy.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The law dealing with felony reductions is ORS 161.705 – 161.710. It says, in part, that the Court may enter judgment reducing a Class C felony to a misdemeanor at any time after the sentence of probation has been completed. ORS 161.710 deals specifically with Felony DWS (habitual offender suspension) committed before September 1, 1999.
The requirements for a reduction are:
- The probation sentence must be completed. Probation violations aren’t necessarily a barrier, as long as the conditions (such as community service, financial obligations, classes or treatment) are ultimately completed.
- The judge, considering the “nature and circumstances of the crime and the history and character of the defendant,” finds that a felony conviction would be unduly harsh. This is a really broad area, and it allows us to show a person’s current situation, why they need the reduction, what they have accomplished since the conviction, and any helpful circumstances from the crime itself or their situation at the time.
I have been very successful in helping my clients get their felonies reduced to misdemeanors. I work with them from the outset to gather information and present the best possible picture to the judge. In my view that first impression is key and likely why I have a solid track record. If you have a felony driving conviction that you would like reduced, let’s talk about how I can help you too.