Expungements / Gun Rights Restoration
Just because you have a prior felony conviction does not mean you have permanently lost your gun rights in Oregon.
There are several means to regain the right to bear arms after a felony conviction. In some cases, your underlying felony conviction can be expunged. In others, we may be able to get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor. A third option is to petition the court for an order restoring your gun rights. That method does not get rid of your prior conviction but it can give the right to possess and purchase firearms again.
We can evaluate your record and determine which option will work best for you.
1. Expungement. a.k.a. "Expunction"
The relevant Oregon statute is found at ORS 137.225. That section allows for a motion to be filed in the court where you were convicted asking the judge to expunge (or remove the conviction from your record) and to seal the file. The requirements for an expungement are as follows:
- At least three years must have passed from the time of the judgment;
- You must not have committed any new crimes since the crime you are asking to have expunged;
- At the time you file the motion, you must have had a ten year-period with no other crimes besides the crime you are seeking to expunge;
- The crime you are trying to expunge must be a misdemeanor or a class B or C felony;
- The crime cannot be a class A felony (except for some marijuana crimes) and cannot be a sex crime or child abuse related crime.
If you have a conviction for sex crime there are some exceptions to the rule against expungement. Please contact us to discuss them.
If you meet the requirements we will file the motion and serve a copy on the District Attorney who will have the right to object and request a hearing. There is a $240 filing fee that must be paid to the court. You will also need to provide us with fingerprint card and check for $80 that will go to the Oregon State Police. If the D.A. does not object, the judge will typically sign the order and the information will be sent to the State Police and record of the conviction removed from the state-wide law enforcement database. If the D.A. requests a hearing then the judge will have to determine if your "circumstances and behavior" since the time of the conviction justify the granting the motion.
2. Petition to Restore Gun Rights.
ORS 166.247 allows a convicted felon to petition the court for the restoration of the person's rights to possess, purchase and transfer firearms in Oregon. This may be the only option to restore gun rights if you do not qualify for an expungement. The requirements for a successful petition include the following:
- A petition filed in the county of your current residence;
- A $240 filing fee to court;
- A copy of the petition must be served on the county sheriff or chief of police;
- Your felony conviction cannot have been a "person" felony that involved the use or threatened use of a firearm;
- Your felony cannot have been a "Measure 11" felony; and,
- The judge must find by clear and convincing evidence, that the petitioner does not pose a threat to the safety of the public or the petitioner.
If the court grants the petition, the order along with your fingerprint card will be forwarded to the Oregon State Police so the information can be entered into the statewide law enforcement database.
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