A Guide for Young People with a Juvenile Record
Effective January 2, 2022 -Senate Bill 575 changed the rules for the expunction of your juvenile record. There are some records that cannot be expunged according to Oregon Statute (ORS 419.005 - see expunction brochure in English (PDF) and expunction brochure en español (PDF)).
Before you keep reading, there are some legal words you should know.
- Best interests: The reason you give for removing your record benefits both you and the community.
- Contact: When you act in a way that a court could find you within its jurisdiction. This is normally when the police speak with you about something that you did that could be against the law.
- Jurisdiction: When a judge decides that you did something that would have been a crime if you were an adult, you are found to be "within the jurisdiction of the court" This is similar to the adult term "conviction" In juvenile justice, this normally means you were placed on probation through the juvenile department or committed to the Oregon Youth Authority.
- Never within jurisdiction: Even though you had contact with the police or the juvenile department, you were never found in jurisdiction. This normally occurs when you go through some type of diversion program, you are on informal probation, or the charges against you are either never filed or were dropped.
- Termination: After you are found in jurisdiction and either the maximum time period passed or your probation officer asks for your case to be closed, the court can order your jurisdiction terminated. This is usually when you finish probation or parole. Your most recent termination is when you last finished probation or parole. The juvenile department can help you figure out this date.
- ORS = Oregon Revised Statutes. These are Oregon's state laws. You can find them online.
If your case was handled on an "informal" basis, meaning you were never adjudicated or found to be within the jurisdiction of a juvenile court, and the following requirements apply to you, you may eligible for "automatic" expunction of your juvenile record ('automatic' meaning we may take care of the expunction process on your behalf once you turn 18).
- You were never adjudicated or found to be within the jurisdiction of a juvenile court.
- You have not been convicted as an adult of a felony or Class A misdemeanor since the termination of your juvenile case.
- You are not the subject of a pending proceeding in juvenile or criminal court, and you are not currently within the jurisdiction of any court.
- You were not waived to criminal court (ORS 419C.349 or ORS 419C.352).
- You are not the subject of a pending police investigation as a juvenile or adult.
Automatic Expunction Versus Application for Expunction
Whether your juvenile record is expunged automatically or you have to complete an application for expunction depends on several factors, including when you turned 18;
Youth Turns 18 on or After January 2, 2022 (plus Other Restrictions)
- No petition filed-informal only, case is closed; Automatic Expunction - juvenile department sends out a Notice of expunction on behalf of youth (no waiting period).
- Petition filed-not adjudicated; youth turns 18 after January 2, 2022, case is closed; juvenile department submits an Application for expunction with the Court, Court Orders expunction (no waiting period).
Youth Turns 18 Before January 2, 2022 (plus Other Restrictions)
- No petition filed-informal only, case is still open after January 2, 2022, once case is closed; Automatic Expunction - juvenile department sends out a Notice of expunction on behalf of youth (no waiting period).
- No petition filed-informal only, case is closed as of January 2, 2022; youth must submit Application for expunction to the juvenile department, juvenile department sends out a Notice of expunction on behalf of youth (no waiting period).
- Petition filed-not adjudicated, youth turns 18 before January 2, 2022; youth must submit Application for expunction to the juvenile department, juvenile department submits the Application for expunction with the Court, and will provide a copy to the district attorney's office.
Regardless of birthday, if you have been adjudicated as a juvenile in a court of law, you must still wait 5 years after the date your case was closed before you may become eligible to apply for expunction of your juvenile record (except for prostitution and some allegations of marijuana - see note).
Note: Prostitution & Marijuana
- Prostitution allegations are expungable on or after a youth turns 18 because by law a juvenile cannot consent (section C. on the youth's application for expunction). No waiting period.
- Marijuana charges (possession, delivery or manufacture of marijuana or a marijuana item as defined in ORS 475B.015 (Definitions for ORS 475B.010 to 475B.545)) under ORS 419A.265 are expungable once the youth turns 18, 1 year after case closure (section D. on the youth's application for expunction)