The area of Oregon has been inhabited for more than fifteen thousand
years. Lewis and Clark ended their long exploration in Oregon, which
sparked movement towards this new land. Oregon Territory was a highly
sought area for hundreds of years before 1846 when Great Britain and
the United States reached a border conclusion at the 49th Parallel. Ten
years later Oregon became a state as many came to inhabit the new state
through the Oregon Trail.
Immigrants settled by working in lumber and the fisheries of the green
forests. The new population grew steadily and integrated with the
American Indian tribes that dotted the mountains and plains. Now over
three and one-half million people reside in the state. These people are
governed by Oregon's state laws that have evolved over many decades.
Some of these laws include labor laws, divorce laws, bankruptcy laws,
expungement laws, felony conviction laws, drunken driving laws, and
Most criminal cases cannot be expunged in Oregon. Only certain juvenile
cases can qualify and include cases that have been terminated for at
least five years without any subsequent felony or misdemeanor offenses.
Other qualifying juvenile cases include cases that have had no criminal
conviction or adjudication and those that have not violated 419B.100
delinquent laws A, B, C, or F.
Adult felony and misdemeanor offenses cannot be expunged nor can
traffic offenses. When a record is expunged it is no longer accessible
by the public and no longer needs to be acknowledged upon job
application. However when an individual runs for public office or
enters the United States military, he or she will have his or her
expunged record accessed.
The sentencing for driving under the influence depends on the case's
circumstances and any previous offenses. Oregon has some of the
strictest drunken driving laws in the country and has very specific
punishments. If an individual has a minor in the motor vehicle upon an
arrest, his or her punishment will increase severely, even if it is a
first offense. The fine of one thousand dollars will increase as well
as the two days of jail sentencing.
Other punishments include driver's license suspension, alcohol
evaluation, community service, screening programs, and installation of
ignition interlocking systems. The more offenses an individual has on
his or her record the more time he or she will spend in restitution. If
an individual commits three or more driving under the influence
offenses in the space of ten years, he or she will be convicted of a
Class C Felony rather than a misdemeanor offense.
Oregon requires that before filing for divorce residents be within
state borders for at least six months. This time must be continuous and
must precede filing. Each divorce case is handled by the county circuit
courts, so those petitioning for divorce are required to file in their
county of residency or that of their spouses. If a petition is filed to
the incorrect county, the petition will be thrown out. Oregon also
requires a ninety-day waiting period after a petition is filed and
before a court summonsing is released.