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How do I file a motion to reduce my felony conviction in Oregon?

The easiest way to clean up your Oregon criminal record is to expunge (i.e. set aside) your criminal convictions.  But there are a lot of felony convictions you cannot expunge under any circumstances.  

This includes the vast majority of Class A felonies, most sex offenses, some Class B felonies, and even a few Class C felonies.  

There is another way.

Under ORS 161.705, you can file a motion to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction.  This procedure is commonly known as "felony reduction.

Which felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors?

In general, you are eligible to reduce the following felonies:

1.  Class C Felonies

You are eligible to file a motion to reduce any class C felony under Oregon law.  

In Oregon, Class C felonies carry a maximum possible punishment of 5 years in state prison and a fine of up to $125,000.  

Here are the most commonly charged Class C felonies in Oregon:

  • Burglary in the Second Degree
  • Robbery in the Third Degree
  • Assault in the Third Degree
  • Rape in the Third Degree
  • Failure to Appear in the First Degree
  • Forgery in the First Degree
  • Arson in the Second Degree
  • Theft in the First Degree
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (certain cases)
  • Online Sexual Corruption of a Child in the Second Degree
  • Custodial Sexual Misconduct in the First Degree
  • Sodomy in the Third Degree
  • Possession of Sexually Explicit Materials of a Child in the Second Degree
  • Unlawful Contact with a Child
  • Felon in Possession of Firearm
  • Unlawful use of Weapon
  • Perjury
  • Coercion
  • Bribing a Witness
  • Criminal Impersonation of a Peace Officer
  • Riot
  • Disorderly Conduct in the First Degree (if prior conviction)
  • Identity Theft
  • Stalking (if your second conviction)
  • Criminal Mischief in the First Degree
  • Custodial Interference in the Second Degree
  • Unlawful delivery of marijuana
  • Violating Court's Stalking Protective Order (certain cases)
  • Abuse of a Corpse in the Second Degree
  • Bias Crime in the First Degree
  • Driving under the Influence (3 prior convictions in 10 years)
  • Failure to Perform Duties of Driver to Injured Person
  • Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle

2. Class B marijuana-related felonies

In general, you cannot reduce class B felonies in Oregon.  Crimes involving marijuana, however, are exceptions.  

You are eligible to reduce any marijuana-related crime that qualifies as a Class B felony.  This includes unlawful manufacturing of a cannabinoid extract.  

3. Unlawful Racketeering

Unlawful Racketeering Activity, located in ORS 166.270, is the only Class A felony eligible for reduction.  

What court do I file my motion?

You must file a felony reduction motion in the court in which you were convicted of the felony.   

For example, if you were convicted of DUI in Marion County, you would return to Marion County Circuit Court to file your felony reduction motion.

Will the Court reduce my felony conviction?

Under ORS 161.705, the court has the discretion to reduce your felony conviction.  That is, the judge may say yes or no.  Before ruling, the court must consider the circumstances of the crime and your history and character.  The standard under ORS 161.705 is whether the court believes that you having a felony conviction on your record would be "unduly harsh."

For instance, you are having a difficult time getting a job, applying for a student loan, or getting housing.  

What happens if the Court grants my motion?

If the court grants your felony reduction motion, the Court reduces your felony and enters a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor.  In other words, you can legally say that you never had a felony conviction on your record.  

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