How do you restore your firearm rights after a criminal conviction in Oregon? There are three different ways to go about it.
Expunge or Set Aside Your Criminal Conviction in Oregon
You may have heard about “expungement” as a way to have your criminal record or criminal conviction “expunged.” Legally speaking, this process is called “setting aside” a record of arrest and/or conviction under ORS 137.225.
The process of setting aside a record of arrest or conviction does not require an attorney, but an attorney can certainly make the process easier and faster. Your attorney will draft a motion for the court, attach an affidavit in support of the motion, and then provide the Court an order to sign. You must also complete a fingerprint card with a local law enforcement agency. All of these materials are filed with the Court and also served upon the local District Attorney’s (DA’s) office. Most of the time– if you’re eligible by statute for an order to set aside the arrest or conviction– the DA’s office will not object. However, in some cases they may object on discretionary grounds. A hearing may need to be scheduled to take evidence and make arguments. Therefore, it can take anywhere from a month to about three months to complete this process. For more information on motions to set aside, please see our expungement page.
Reduce Your Conviction from a Felony to a Misdemeanor
Some crimes are not eligible to be set aside. Certain felonies, for example. Therefore you may opt instead to petition the Court to convert your prior felony conviction to a misdemeanor. This can be done for most Class “C” felonies if probation was successfully completed. The Court’s order– if allowed– will be nunc pro tunc and that means the judgment of conviction becomes converted from a felony to a misdemeanor as if it were originally entered as a misdemeanor only.
The statutory authority to convert a prior felony conviction to a misdemeanor is ORS 161.705, and it’s much easier to convert if that was part of the original plea bargain and sentence, or if the DA agrees. If the DA objects, a hearing will need to be schedule to present evidence and make legal arguments.
Petition an Oregon Circuit Court to Restore Your Firearm Rights
Lastly, if all else fails, there’s another statute that can help people convicted of a crime restore their firearm rights. ORS 166.274 allows people with felony convictions to petition the Court for relief from the firearms prohibitions that affect the ability to purchase or possess firearms. This statute allows the possible restoration of rights even if the prior conviction cannot be expunged or converted from a Class “C” felony down to a misdemeanor.
Much like the other processes described above, an attorney is very helpful in drafting the pleadings and organizing the presentation of evidence to law enforcement, the DA’s office, and the Court. This process is also much more likely to be successful if local law enforcement and the DA’s office agree to the relief. If they do not, a hearing will need to be schedule to present evidence and make legal arguments.
Let’s Get Started Restoring Your Rights
We have options and solutions for clients, with varying levels of cost. Contact our office today to discuss how we might be able to help you restore your right to purchase and possess firearms in Oregon for hinting, self-defense, target shooting, or collecting.
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- Does Oregon Have a Gun Show Loophole?
- Restore Firearm Rights After a Conviction in Oregon
- Self-Defense in Oregon – Know Your Rights
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