A person acquires a criminal record in Oregon by getting arrested and fingerprinted in the state. From then on, any additional arrests and criminal dispositions will be added to the individual’s Oregon criminal record. The Oregon State Police maintains the state’s central repository of criminal history information.
According to Oregon state law, most criminal history record information is public record, and residents may request a copy of their own or another person’s criminal record through the OSP Criminal Justice Information Services Division. However, a request to view another person’s criminal record information will only reveal arrests and convictions from within the past year.
What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is an official document detailing a person’s criminal convictions, pending criminal cases, prior arrests, and other interactions with law enforcement agencies. Additional names for a criminal record include criminal history record, rap sheet, and a police record.
As with marriage records and court records, criminal records are generally public records in the United States and can be accessed through a criminal background check. However, public access to specific criminal record information varies from state to state.
In the State of Oregon, most criminal records are public and may be obtained by mailing a request and payment to the Oregon State Police.
What is included in an Oregon criminal record?
As criminal records are kept by law enforcement agencies at all levels of government in the United States, an Oregon criminal record may vary in format and content depending on the law enforcement database from which it is accessed.
Generally, an Oregon criminal record will include the following information:
- A person’s full name and possible aliases
- Personal information such as age, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, height, weight, and other physical characteristics
- Fingerprints and mugshot
- Misdemeanor criminal offenses and convictions
- Felony criminal offenses and convictions
- Past and outstanding arrest warrants
- Pending and dismissed charges
Why would someone access a criminal record?
There are many reasons to access a criminal record.
- Most commonly, people search criminal records as a way to run a background check on a particular person.
- They’re also used by law enforcement to identify or locate people involved in unsolved crimes or by the court system to determine an appropriate sentence after a conviction.
- An individual may want to access his or her own record as well. It’s not uncommon for people to request their own criminal records to see what information is public.
- In some cases, a record could be inaccurate or include outdated information. If that’s the case, it’s important to have the record corrected.
What’s the difference between an infraction, misdemeanor, and felony?
Arrests and convictions listed on a criminal record are separated into three categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
To give a better understanding of the information listed on a criminal record, here’s a quick overview of each category of offense:
- Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is usually just a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering.
- Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, yet less serious than a felony. Generally, a misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or by a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than in a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
- Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime, often characterized by the use of a weapon during a crime, serious injury to a victim, and/or holding a person against their will. Felony convictions typically result in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and grand theft.
What is the difference between an Oregon arrest record and an Oregon criminal record?
While an arrest record is an official document including the details of a specific arrest, a criminal record is a more comprehensive document that includes a person’s entire criminal background known to law enforcement agencies.
How do I make a request for an Oregon criminal record?
In Oregon, a request to view your criminal record, or the limited criminal record of another person, should be made to the Oregon State Police Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
By April 2021, the Oregon State Police plans to launch a website where criminal history record requests can be made electronically. Until then, all requests must be mailed in due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A person can request a copy of their own criminal record or the limited criminal record of another person in Oregon (with arrests and charges from the past year), and the processes are slightly different.
Requesting a copy of your own criminal record in Oregon:
- Have all ten fingerprints taken on an FD 248 fingerprint card. This can be done at a local police station, the Oregon State Police office in Salem (for a $20 fee), or with a commercial fingerprinting agency.
- Print and fill out a request form.
- Prepare a money order or personal check for $33 payable to “Oregon State Police”
- Mail the form, payment, and FD 248 fingerprint card to the following address:
Oregon State Police – CJIS Division
P O Box 4395
Portland, OR 97208-4395
Processing the request generally takes between 7-10 business days. Once the request is processed, you will have the criminal record mailed to you. If the criminal record search does not yield a criminal record in your name, you will receive a notice stating that you do not have a criminal record in the state.
Requesting a copy of another person’s criminal record in Oregon:
- Print and fill out a request form. Make sure it includes the required information about the subject.
- Prepare a personal check or money order for $10 payable to “Oregon State Police”
- Mail the form and payment in an enclosed envelope to this address:
Oregon State Police
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Attn: Open Records
3565 Trelstad Ave SE
Salem, OR 97317
4. After your request is submitted, there will be a 14-day waiting period as the subject of the request is notified and given a chance to review the information and challenge its accuracy.
5. If no challenge is submitted, you will receive a copy of the subject’s criminal record after the 14-day waiting period ends.
How do I obtain a physical copy of an Oregon criminal record?
If a criminal record request to the Oregon State Police yields a criminal record, a physical copy will be mailed to the address listed on the request form.
Why can’t I access an Oregon criminal record?
In the case that a criminal record request yields no record, there are several possible explanations. They include the following:
- There is no criminal record under that name.
- The subject’s criminal record has been expunged.
- The subject’s criminal record is listed under a different name.
- The subject’s criminal arrests and convictions occurred over a year in the past and are no longer accessible to the general public.
How do I search for Oregon criminal case court records?
Individuals may use the Online Records Search tool provided by the Oregon Judicial Department to look up limited court case information from Oregon circuit courts and the state’s Tax Court.
Complete court records can be accessed by using public terminals located within Oregon courthouses. You can use the Oregon State Courts: Find a Court tool to look up the address and contact information of your local circuit court.
Does Oregon allow criminal records to be sealed or expunged?
Oregon state law allows individuals to put forward a motion to expunge arrests and/or convictions on their record. There are many steps to this process, but hiring an attorney is not required. The term “expungement” is used officially, but the terms “sealing” and “expungement” are occasionally used interchangeably.
How can I have false information on an Oregon criminal record corrected?
If an individual submits a request to view a copy of your criminal record in Oregon you will be notified and given a chance to challenge the accuracy of the record.
For more information on challenging information on a criminal record, contact the Oregon State Police – CJIS Division at (503) 378-3070.
How long are Oregon criminal records kept on file?
Unless an arrest or conviction is successfully expunged from a criminal record, it will be maintained indefinitely in the Oregon State Police’s repository of criminal history information. However, arrests and convictions from over a year in the past will not be viewable by another person in the case of a criminal record request.