What is an Expungement / Expunction?
What is an Expungement / Expunction? Expungement and expunction are general terms used interchangeably with one another. An expungement is a process by which a past criminal offense, violation or arrest is sealed from a person’s record. After an expungement, a person may respond to questions regarding criminal convictions or arrests as though the offense had never occurred. See ORS 137.255(4). Under the expungement law, the record will be sealed and employers, landlords or other inquiring minds will not receive information on the offense when performing background checks using state databases. Expungements are also referred to as “expunctions.” Actually, “Expungement” and “Expunction” are misnomers because the records are not actually destroyed. See ORS 137.225. Historically, “expungement” referred to the physical destruction of the record. However, today with record retention laws and other public policy considerations, complete destruction of the records seldom occurs. The order, if the court grants the motion, is to have the conviction and arrest records sealed. See State v. K.P., 324 Or 1 (1996).