Columbia County Courthouse

230 Strand Street, St. Helens, OR 97051 • Phone: (503) 397-7210 • Toll Free: (888) 397-7210

Columbia County

Record Expungement

Expunction is the destruction or permanent sealing of records and documents so that they are no longer public information.

You cannot expunge the following juvenile offenses:

  • Any Murder or Attempt, Solicitation or Conspiracy to Commit Murder or Aggravated Murder
  • Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
  • Assault in the First Degree
  • Rape in the First, Second or Third Degree
  • Sodomy in the First, Second or Third Degree
  • Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First or Second Degree
  • Sexual Abuse in the First, Second or Third Degree
  • Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree
  • Kidnapping in the First Degree
  • Promoting or Compelling Prostitution

All Ballot Measure 11 offenses may not be expunged as they are not handled in Juvenile Court.  Different rules apply to adult convictions

  • Expunction must occur in the county you lived in at the time the disposition ended.  By law, the juvenile court is required to make reasonable efforts to provide written notice to you of expunction procedures at the disposition hearing, at time of termination of the disposition, upon notice of expunction by the court, and at the time of the execution of the expunction order.
  • There are two methods of expunction, automatic and by application.  Automatic expunction sometimes occurs when the court itself expunges your juvenile records once you have reached the age of 18 and with the approval of the district attorney.  Automatic expunction at age 18 is not always done.  You should check with the Juvenile Department as to whether your records have been expunged automatically.

You may apply for expunction at any time by filling out an application which is provided by the Juvenile Department.  Once the Juvenile Department receives the application, it is then submitted to the District Attorney's Office. If there is a victim associated with the juvenile record, they will be notified of your expungement request and given the opportunity to state their opinion involving this matter. The District Attorney has 10 days to approve or deny the application, and weighs the following criteria in determining whether to approve expunction:

  • Whether five years have elapsed since the close of the most recent disposition or if the court has allowed an early expunction, meaning an expunction prior to the five year time frame
  • Whether there have been felony or class A misdemeanor convictions since the date of the most recent disposition
  • Whether criminal proceedings are pending
  • Whether the juvenile department is aware of any pending investigation of the conduct of the person by a law enforcement agency
  • Whether the person is within the jurisdiction of any juvenile court due to allegations that:
  1.       the person has committed a crime
  2.       the person is beyond control of his or her parent or guardian
  3.       the person’s behavior, condition, or circumstances endanger his or her welfare or the welfare of others


If the expunction is approved by the District Attorney, notice of the approval is sent to any victims in the case and the Juvenile Department will hold the application for 30 days before submitting the appropriate order to a Judge for signature. Once the order is signed, it is circulated to all agencies listed on the initial application.  Upon receipt of the order, agencies are required to destroy all records pertaining to the applicant within 21 days, with the exception of the following:

  • Academic records
  • Information needed for federal funding of that person.
  • Records kept by the Dept. of Transportation, State Marine Board and State fish and wildlife Commission
  • Records related to an order of waiver
  • Records related to a support obligation
  • Medical records
  • Records related to a termination of parental rights and adoption
  • Records of the Oregon Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
  • Records maintained by the Law Enforcement Data System

Within 6 weeks of the Judge signing the expunction order, notice will be sent to you with information regarding the contacted agencies. At this point all Juvenile Department records will be destroyed with the exception of the above listed information, the expunction order itself, and documentation of the contacted agencies. The State Court will then initiate their own process to seal all related records subject to expunction.

If, after review, expunction is not approved by the district attorney, the district attorney explains why and states when you are eligible to apply again.  You may request a court hearing by a judge or referee to determine the appropriateness of the denial.