SB420 – Expunging Marijuana Convictions in Oregon

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Ready to have your marijuana conviction expunged? It is easier now, thanks to Senate Bill 420 – and I am here to help.

Let’s break down the new benefits of this bill and how it makes marijuana expungements faster and easier than ever:

1. SB 420 does away with the $265 court filing fee, $80 OSP fee, and fingerprint card requirement. What does this mean? All you have to do is sign the motion, and sign & have the accompanying affidavit notarized. This bill saves you money and the hassle of having to go get your fingerprints taken.

2. SB 420 does away with some of the time restrictions for filing the expungement motion. Under this bill, the motion may be filed “at any time following judgment of conviction for a qualifying marijuana conviction.” Oregon’s expungement statute, ORS 137.225, requires a person to not have any other conviction within the preceding ten years. This bill does away with that requirement. This means someone who would otherwise not yet be eligible to have their marijuana conviction expunged due to other recent convictions is now eligible to have the marijuana conviction expunged. This is great news and will, I expect, help a lot of people.

3. SB 420 sets a strict deadline on the DA. The DA only has 30 days to object to the expungement. If the DA does not object within this time frame, the court may grant the expungement. This time frame is significantly quicker than normal expungements which can range from 3-6 months from filing to
completion.

I am so happy that Oregon has joined other states in relaxing the expungement laws for marijuana cases. I hope people take advantage of this change in the law. I am ready to assist you with expunging your marijuana or other cases – why wait?

Next up: “Qualifying marijuana conviction” explained

Expunging Old Convictions for Growing Marijuana

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When Oregon legalized marijuana, it also expanded the expungement law to include MCS Marijuana and DCS Marijuana. Now, people convicted of Growing Marijuana or delivering marijuana canOregon now allows people convicted of growing marijuana to have their convictions expunged. Before the changes in the law, Manufacturing Marijuana (MCS Marijuana) was a class A felony and not eligible for expungement.

THE LAW
Within the lengthly law governing the legalization of marijuana is a small blurb stating, in essence, that marijuana convictions occuring before legalization are to be treated, for expungement purposes, as if they occurred under the current marijuana classification.

This means that for instance, before legalization, growing marijuana was a class A felony. Class A felonies are not eligible for expungement in oregon. After legalization, growing marijuana is legal (up to a certain number
This new law has been in effect for quite some time now. But, I still hear from a lot of people who aren’t aware of it. Their lives have been impacted because they grew marijuana. Some of these folks have convictions for growing marijuana 30 or 40 years ago. For far too long they have struggled with the stigma of being a “convicted felon” and all that this label implies. They have endured embarrassing background checks for employment and housing. In many cases they have lost out on jobs, promotions, loans, licenses, leases, and other opportunities not available to felons.

Shortly after the new law was enacted, I argued the issue od MCS Marijuana in multiple counties throughout the state. I have educated judges and District Attorneys on this very important change in Oregon’s expungement laws regarding expunging convictions for growing marijuana.

If you have a conviction for MCS, DCS, or possession of marijuana, I urge you to call me to discuss your case.

http://nwnewsnetwork.org/post/marijuana-felony-expunged-oregon-man-has-tears-joy

Arrested in Portland for Commercial Sexual Solicitation?

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Arrested in Portland for Hiring a Prostitute? You may be able to get the case dismissed through the community court program. This program, unique to Multnomah County, is for people charged with Commercial Sexual Solicitation, a Class A misdemeanor. Commercial Sexual Solicitation was formerly known as Patronizing a Prostitute, or Prostitution.

THE PROGRAM

The community court program is not available for people charged with prostitution related felonies, such as Promoting Prostitution and Compelling Prostitution.

If you successfully complete the program, the judge will dismiss your case. The program requires that you remain crime free for 6 months and that you attend a 1 day “Johns” class. The class costs around $1,000. The class is usually offered on a Saturday. It is held once a month, or once every other month. If you live out of state, you will need to make arrangements to attend the class. But, I may be able to have your appearances in court waived.

THE DISMISSAL

Many people believe that once the judge dismisses the charge of Commercial Sexual Solicitation, the records are automatically erased. This is not true. There are still court records, DA records, and police records we will need to have sealed (commonly called “expungement”).

We can begin the process of having the record of arrest (or citation) expunged as soon as the judge dismisses your case. Once the judge signs the expungement order, you may swear under oath that you have never been arrested or cited for a crime. We can also take steps to ensure that the record does not appear on any internet background searches.

I have worked with many people accused of Commercial Sexual Solicitation and Prostitution related crimes. I understand and appreciate my clients’ needs for discretion. And I work with them to resolve their cases and expungements as quickly and smoothly as possible.

CHANGES TO OREGONS EXPUNGEMENT LAW MEANS POSITIVE CHANGES FOR YOU

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Oregon’s legislators have made some changes to ORS 137.225, commonly referred to as the expungement statute. So what’s the big news? More people than ever are now eligible to move forward with their expungements. Having a clean slate can positively affect someone’s work, family, and emotional life.

Most of the changes are positive, and all changes go into effect January 1, 2016.

Let’s start with the good stuff:

  1. Convictions for B Felony drug possession crimes will now be eligible for expungement without having to wait 20 years. This covers people convicted of possessing heroin, LSD, MDMA/ecstasy, psilocybin, and other schedule 1 controlled substances.
  2. Allows one non-traffic violation conviction without re-tolling the ten year waiting period for an expungement. This means that someone with an eligible misdemeanor or felony conviction and a violation conviction can have the misdemeanor or felony expunged now, rather than waiting 10 years from the date of the violation conviction. What is a non-traffic violation? Some examples are: nonpayment of trimet fare, theft or other misdemeanor reduced to a violation, pcs less than an ounce.

Here’s the not-so-good stuff:

  1. If the probation was revoked for non-compliance the waiting period to apply for expungement is now ten years from the date the probation was revoked.
  2. Prohibits expungement of Assault III if the victim was under ten years old at the time of the offense.

Overall, this is good news. The numbert of people who are now free to move forward with their expungements far outweighs those who are now ineligible or are required to wait a longer term before expungement. Have questions about your own case? Ready to make a fresh start in 2016? Give me a call; I would love to help.