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Criminal Unit

Located in Room 104 of the courthouse, our criminal and traffic unit staff process all violation, misdemeanor and felony cases. 

 

Expungement

Oregon Revised Statute ORS 137.225 allows some types of records to be erased from a person’s Computerized Criminal History (CCH). You are encouraged to read this statute to help you decide if you qualify to have an item taken off your record.
Certain crimes are not able to be set aside. These include:
  • Sex crimes and crimes against children
  • Class “A” or Class “B” felonies (A conviction for possession of marijuana may be able to
    be set aside, even if it was a Class “A” or “B” felony)
  • Traffic offenses
Convictions cannot be set aside until 3 years have passed from the pronouncement of judgment.
 
Convictions cannot be set aside if you are still on probation, parole, or post-prison supervision.
 
Convictions cannot be set aside if you have been convicted of another crime (excluding motor vehicle violations) within the 10-year period immediately preceding the filing of your motion.

Please read the expungement instructions found here carefully.
 
Use Section B of the Expungement Form if you were arrested and a charge[s] was filed in Court against you: The charge[s] was later dismissed, [dismissed after completion of a DUII Diversion does not qualify] or you were acquitted [found not guilty]. You were not convicted of any charge[s] resulting from the arrest. 
 
Use Section C of the Expungement Form if you were arrested and convicted of a crime.
 
Completed forms for section B and C are filed in Room 104.
 

Relief from Sex Offender Registration Requirement

This is a process by which a person convicted of a sex offense may be relieved of the requirement to register as a sex offender. The Oregon State Police website contains instructions and forms needed to file for relief from this requirement.

Forms for this process should be filed in Room 101. A filing fee will be assessed at the time of filing.

Felony and Misdemeanor Cases

Personal court appearance is required.  Failure to appear may result in a warrant for your arrest.
 
Out of custody arraignments are Monday or Thursday at 1:00 p.m.  You will first attend an orientation in Room 213 where you will be given copies of the charges against you and an opportunity to apply for court appointed attorney.  An Affidavit of Indigence must be completed.  
 
In custody arraignments are held each business day at 1:30 p.m. by video between the court and the jail. 
 
At the arraignment you will be formally advised of your rights, the charges filed against you and the maximum possible penalty that may be imposed.  The judge will appoint an attorney if you qualify financially.  If you do not qualify for appointed counsel, you will need to hire your own attorney or represent yourself.  Another personal appearance date will be scheduled.   
 
You may seek private legal counsel at any time.   The Oregon State Bar offers information and a lawyer referral service as well as a Modest Means Program.
 
A Uniform Plea Petition is required when a defendant intends to enter a plea to a charge and proceed to sentencing.  This petition is for charges other than DUII.
 
The following documents pertain to Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants program as prescribed by law:
 

Violations Bureau

Staff in room 104 process most Violations and Minor In Possession of Alcohol diversions.
 
If you received a citation for a violation you should first check the citation carefully to be sure where your appearance court appearance has been set.  Citations for the Benton County Circuit Court will be cited for Monday or Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at the Benton County Courthouse located at 120 NW 4th in Corvallis, Oregon.  Occasionally a citation will be issued for a 1:00 p.m. appearance on a Monday or Thursday when a more serious charge is being considered in addition to the violation. 
 
If you do not appear or post bail by the date required on the citation the court will enter a default judgment against you and impose fees.  Collection action will be taken and your driving privileges may be suspended resulting in an additional fee imposed.
 
Your initial appearance on most violation matters will be before a violations bureau clerk in Room 104.  Based on your plea of guilty or no contest and your driving record, fines and fees are imposed.  Fines are based upon your prior driving record and a predetermined schedule set out by a Judge. Staff does not have discretion to make other "findings.  
 
You may appear before the violations bureau clerk during regular business hours at any time after the court has received and entered your citation and on or before your appearance date.  For violations that the clerk is not authorized to process, a future date will be set for you to appear before a judge.
 
Make yourself aware of all of the options explained on your citation and be prepared to advise the violations bureau clerk of your decision.  One of those options is to enter a plea of guilty or no contest and pay the amount shown on the citation without appearance.  If you choose this option, the transaction must be completed on or before your appearance date to avoid license sanctions.  If you enter a not guilty plea in writing the court will set a future date for you and the officer/deputy to appear for a violation trial.  You will receive a notice of court appearance from the court. 
 
The law enforcement officer shall have the burden of proving the alleged violation by a preponderance of the evidence.  At trial, you are not required to be a witness.  These matters are not recorded unless requested in writing at least one business day in advance of trial.  There can be no appeal from the judge’s decision if the matter is not recorded.  There is a $10 charge to be paid in advance for a copy on CD of the audio record.
 
You may request in writing a Trial by Affidavit.  If Trial by Affidavit is allowed, the court will send you notice of the date by which your affidavit must be received and will notify the citing officer/deputy of the same due date for his/her affidavit.  Affidavits must be notarized.  Once the court has reviewed both affidavits and made a decision, you will be notified by mail.
 
One of the options available for responding to traffic violations is entry of a Not Guilty Plea and Request for Trial. It is preferred that you complete the form including all of the requested information and get it to the Court on or before your appearance date. If you call on or before your appearance date and provide the necessary information to the clerk, they will then complete the form. From this information the court will determine the length of time needed for and date of trial.
 

Minor in Possession of Alcohol Diversion

This court offers a Minor in Possession (MIP) of Alcohol Diversion Program. Carefully read page 2, Explanation of Rights and Diversion Agreement.  Any false statement may result in additional criminal charges being filed against you.
 

While court staff can provide general information about court procedures, ORS 9.160 prohibits court staff from giving legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney.

 

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