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Oregon Court Records

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What are Oregon Traffic Court Records?

Oregon traffic records encompass the case files and documents created as records of traffic court proceedings in the State of Oregon. They include records related to all moving and non-moving violations under the state's motor vehicle code.

Are Oregon Traffic Court Records Public Records?

Oregon traffic records, as with all documentation created in a court of public record, are classified as public information and, as such, are subject to be accessed and viewed by members of the general public unless the records have been restricted by a court order or by law.

Which Courts in Oregon Have Jurisdiction to Hear Traffic Violation Matters?

Oregon traffic violations and infractions are heard in the Municipal Court of the city, or the Circuit Court of the county where the alleged violation was committed.

How Do I Find Oregon Traffic Court Records?

Traffic court records in Oregon are available at the Court Clerk's office of the court where the case was heard. Additionally, publicly available records are accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties may be required to provide:

  • The name of someone involved, providing it is not a juvenile
  • The assumed location of the record in question, such as a city, county, or state name

Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites; record availability may differ from official channels.

What Information is Required to Obtain Oregon Traffic Court Records?

To obtain a traffic court record in Oregon, you may need to provide details about the record, including the defendant's full name, date of birth, and case file number. You may also need to provide a valid ID when making the request. You may also be liable for court costs, especially if you require copies of the records.

Are all Traffic Violations Handled the Same Way in Oregon?

In Oregon, traffic violations are usually processed similarly, irrespective of the type of violation. Fines and penalties for violations may differ based on existing laws and statutes governing the violation. The processes involved in responding to a citation and the ensuing procedures may be similar.

Can Oregon Traffic Records be Sealed or Expunged?

Some traffic records may be sealed or expunged. The process for expunging a criminal record is called "expunction" or "setting aside" in Oregon. If you were arrested but not charged, you can petition to set aside the arrest record 1 year from the date of the arrest. If you were charged but not convicted, you may petition to set aside the record if the charges were dismissed or you were acquitted. There is no waiting period for this. To be eligible

  • Motorists should not have been arrested for anything more than a traffic offense in the previous 3 years
  • Motorists should not have been convicted of a crime, other than a traffic offense, in the previous 10 years
  • Motorists have not had a conviction set aside in the previous 10 years

If you were convicted of a crime, to have it set aside

  • You should have completed all the requirements of your sentence.
  • You have not been convicted of another crime, other than a traffic violation, in the previous 10 years.
  • You have not set aside another conviction in the previous 10 years
  • No criminal proceedings are pending against you.

You may be required to wait 3 years after the date of your conviction or release from incarceration (whichever is later).

How Does One End Up in an Oregon Traffic Court?

You can end up in Oregon traffic court if:

  • Your ticket was issued for a traffic crime (as opposed to a traffic violation).
  • You wish to plead "No Contest" to a traffic violation
  • You wish to contest a traffic violation ticket and request a trial

Getting a Traffic Ticket in Oregon.

A traffic ticket, or Uniform Citation and Complaint, is a long-form document dispensed by a law enforcement officer in Oregon for traffic violations. It is a representation of the officer's observations regarding the incident. The officer may complete the ticket, and it may contain:

  • Defendant section: This contains personal information of the defendant including full name, address, date of birth and other relevant bio-data. It also contains information about the defendant's license including number, type, and expiration date.
  • Time/Place section: This outlines the time, date, and location of the violation.
  • Vehicle Info section: information about the vehicle involved may be input here.
  • Offenses section: The violations, including the statute/ordinance section and presumptive fine amounts, may be listed here. The officer may sign the affirmation and include his name, agency, and ID number.
  • Court Appearance section: The time, date and location of the court with jurisdiction over the case may be entered here. The reverse side of the ticket may contain information on responding to the citation.

At the top of the ticket, the officer may indicate whether the offense is a crime or a violation. This indication may affect how you respond to the ticket, as traffic crimes come with a mandatory court appearance. Traffic offenses in Oregon can either be misdemeanor offenses, which could result in jail sentences, or violations- infractions, which result in a fine. Fines tend to vary by offense and court, so if you have any questions about your costs, you should contact the court listed on the citation.

The Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) does not employ a point system. It does take note of how many tickets you get, and how often. Drivers who rack up numerous tickets or preventable accidents may find themselves subject to license restrictions or suspensions. If you incur 3 convictions or 3 accidents or a combination of both, totaling 3 incidents, in 18 months, your license may be restricted. If you incur 4 convictions or 4 accidents or a combination of both, totaling 4 incidents, your license may be suspended.

Traffic violations are generally classified as moving or non-moving violations. Moving violations are committed by a vehicle while in motion. Non-moving violations are generally committed when a vehicle is parked or associated with faulty vehicle equipment, though they can be committed by moving vehicles such as failure to wear a seatbelt. These kinds of violations are not reported to the Oregon DMV.

What to Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket in Oregon?

Responding to an Oregon Uniform Citation and Complaint depends on whether you were cited for a crime or a violation. This is indicated at the top of the ticket. If you are being cited for a violation, you can choose to:

  • Appear in person to enter a No Contest Plea. This should be done before or on your court appearance date. Based on your driving record, the type of offense being cited and other factors, a Court's clerk may be able to assess a fine lower than the full amount. If not, then you may pay the presumptive fine amount.
  • Plea of No Contest can be entered via a written submission. You may need to complete option 2 on the reverse of the ticket and send it to the court, with the fine amount and a written explanation.

Both of these pleas may result in a Guilty finding by the court, are seen as convictions and may result in the convictions being reported to the Oregon DMV and entered into your record. You can decide to pay the Oregon traffic ticket judicial department ePay service.

Contesting a Traffic Ticket in Oregon

§ If you wish to plead "Not Guilty" to the violation, you can appear in court on your date to enter your plea and request for a trial. You may be notified of a date and time to appear for trial. If you are retaining the services of an attorney, then the court should be informed no later than 10 days prior to the trial. If you are found "Not Guilty"," then the charges may be dismissed, and you may not be liable for any fines or penalties. You may still have to settle Court fees. You can enter your "Not Guilty" plea by written submission. You may need to complete option 3 on the ticket and send it to the court. This waives your right to a court appearance, and you may have to wait for the court's decision. A notice may be sent to you.

What to Expect in an Oregon Traffic Court

If you are cited for a crime, then you may be required to appear in court on your date to answer the charges and enter your plea. If you plead Guilty, the judge may pass your sentence. If you plead Not Guilty, a trial date may be scheduled.

You may qualify for Trial by Affidavit and may need to contact the court to determine this. If you are eligible, then you can submit a written plea to the judge by the court date. The officer may also submit a written statement, and the judge may make a decision. You may be notified and are bound by the decision. Failure to appear on a citation may result in a guilty verdict against you, and you may be liable for the full fine, a failure to appear fee, and any other penalty passed by the judge.

How to Prepare for Traffic Court in Oregon

Oregon has unique traffic laws, including its approach to distracted driving and its use of speed enforcement cameras in certain areas. Some counties, like Multnomah County, offer traffic court mediation programs where defendants can meet with a mediator to discuss the case and reach a resolution without going to trial. When preparing for traffic court in Oregon, motorists are advised to consider these options as well as engage the services of a legal counsel or representative.

Oregon Traffic Court Records
  • Criminal Records
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  • And More!