How do I get my record expunged (removed or destroyed)?
Legally the term expungement means, "The removal and destruction of a judgment or order related to (Juvenile Department) contact,." ORS 419A.260(b). The process of getting a juvenile record destroyed is called expungement. You may apply for an expunction of your juvenile court records at any time. There are statutes which dictate the expungement of a juvenile record and these statutes are complex. However, in general, if a youth has been found by a juvenile court to be involved in a delinquent act, (one which would be a crime if he or she were an adult), that youth's record, under most circumstances, may be expunged after five (5) years following the most recent termination of the Juvenile Department's legal involvement if:
- As an adult, the person has not been convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor or greater;
- There are no legal proceedings pending in juvenile or criminal court;
- The person is not within the jurisdiction of any juvenile court and;
- There is no pending investigation by any law enforcement agency.
Some records which CANNOT be expunged include:
- Murder and related crimes
- Manslaughter in the first and second degree
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Assault in the first degree
- Most rape, sodomy and sex abuse convictions
When a person who is the subject of a record becomes 18 years of age, the record may be expunged if the person never was found to be within the Juvenile Court’s jurisdiction, or if the above conditions have been met.
Upon entry of an expunction order, the police, court or other contact shall be treated as if it never occurred. An agency which is subject to an expunction order shall respond to any inquiry about the contact by indicating that no record or reference concerning the contact exists without risking a penalty for perjury or false swearing under the laws of this State. Anyone violating a youth's right to confidentiality commits a misdemeanor. Intentional violations of the Act may constitute invasion of privacy giving the youth a right to an action against the violator for punitive damages in the amount of $1,000 in addition to any actual damages, costs, and attorney's fees.