Table of Contents
You can find a lot of information about someone by utilizing the state’s public records and databases including, and arrest records, Oregon are no exception. You can also find someone’s phone numbers, addresses, and even complete Oregon court records, both criminal and civil, thanks to one special law.
In this 2023 guide, we will talk about how you can use the Oregon Public Records Law and a reputable background search company to find all of the background information about a person that is available for access.
This walkthrough covers how to use public access to find arrest records, Oregon employer regulations, and how to conduct a criminal background search in Oregon.
According to the law, “every person” has a right to inspect public records, which include arrests.
What is in an Arrest Record in Oregon?
Arrest records are exactly what the name implies. To put it simply, arrest records only include incidents that involve arrest by police or other law enforcement. Oregon arrest records contain a basic rundown of a person’s prior police arrests.
These records include the name of the person detained, date of arrest, the offense for which they were accused, incident number, and the county circuit court overseeing the trial. The types of crimes included in arrest records are defined below:
- Infractions – An infraction involves breaking a law but does not require appearing in county or circuit court. Some examples of infractions are speeding with a vehicle, failing to stop at a stop sign or red light, and failure to wear a seat belt.
- Misdemeanors – A misdemeanor is an act committed in violation of the law, for which jail time should not exceed 12 months. This may also include community service or probation, ordered by the court. Examples of misdemeanors include simple assault and battery, theft of property or services valued at $50 or less, driving under the influence (DUI), and minor drug possession.
- Felonies – A felony is a serious violation of the law that may result in more than one year in prison. Felony crimes are further divided into classes with varying degrees of severity. Examples of a felony include rape, murder, and cases of robbery.
What Happens When You Are Arrested in Oregon?
When you get detained, it does not mean that you were convicted of a crime. This is because police arrests do not necessarily lead to convictions and can sometimes be resolved without going to county or circuit courts. The majority of arrests are resolved short of trial, often through a plea bargain or dismissal. In most cases where someone is acquitted or not charged with a crime, that arrest can still remain on their records unless it is expunged or sealed by a court of law.
Expungement is a legal process where a court seals a criminal history so that it no longer shows up on background checks. This process is only available after certain criteria are met and can vary from state to state as well as county by county. Expungement is not the same as a conviction being “sealed.” Expungement is typically reserved for cases where there were no convictions however convictions may also be expunged when deemed appropriate by a judge. You can learn more about how to remove criminal record from background check by searching the Attorney General’s office.
Sealing records generally refers to situations when someone has been convicted, but that data does not need to be made available in public records or court documents. However, sealed cases can still be viewed by some agencies and individuals with a court order or other special arrangement.
Employer Regulations Concerning Arrest Info on Background Checks
With regard to arrest records, Oregon employers must comply with specific guidelines surrounding criminal background checks and hiring. Employers are required to follow certain steps before using arrest records as a basis for denying someone employment.
- First, the employer must receive authorization from you if they want to do a background search on your criminal history. This means that when applying for a new job or promotion with any company, you will be asked about your criminal history and consent for the employer to perform a background check. The reason for this is to protect you from having your criminal history disclosed without your knowledge and it will give you the opportunity to explain any arrests that may appear on your record.
- Second, if an arrest or conviction appears on someone’s records and they were not convicted of the crime, then it cannot be used as grounds for denying them employment. If the arrest did not lead to a conviction, then they are viewed as innocent until proven guilty in which case it is up to the employer’s discretion whether or not they believe that person should be denied employment based on their criminal history.
- Third, if an arrest or conviction is used as grounds for denying employment, the employer must be able to prove that there was a direct relationship between their criminal history and why they were denied employment. An example of this would be if someone has been convicted of a sex crime and is applying for a job where they would be working with children.
Is there a Difference Between Oregon Criminal Records and Oregon Arrest Records?
Yes, there is a difference between criminal records and arrest records, Oregon law makes a distinction. Oregon criminal history records include any convictions in the state as well as arrests within the last 365 days, as long as the charges were not dropped or an acquittal rendered in a court of law. Info on Oregon criminal court records is private, except in cases where a court has granted access.
Arrest records are made accessible by the state, but they will often not include info on dropped charges or acquittals. Arrests that do show up in background checks may be removed from criminal history records after a specified amount of time as long as no further arrests were made during this time period. However, even if an arrest is expunged, the records will still be available in the county database.
Employers use both criminal records and arrest records, Oregon regulations permit them in order to determine whether or not someone should be hired or to learn how to find out why someone was arrested. However, this information may only be used when required by law and cannot be the sole grounds for denying employment in Oregon. Oregon employers are able to use criminal records when hiring if it is necessary for carrying out job duties as outlined in business regulations. An example of this would be someone applying for the police or a law enforcement position who has been arrested, but not convicted in the past five years. The employer in this case must take into account whether or not they believe that person is likely to re-offend and use their criminal history as grounds for denying employment when it relates directly to job requirements.
Does Oregon Public Records include Criminal Records?
Yes, Oregon public record searches include criminal reports, and this is one of the most common questions people have about background checks in Oregon. One reason is that people wonder if their criminal history will be discovered when performing an arrest record search with public records law or by conducting a criminal records check online. They want to know how much information is available to the public. Criminal records in Oregon will show up on a public records background check.
If you are looking to perform a background check in Oregon, then you can use public criminal records to find someone’s criminal history. This means that anyone can access these records. In Oregon, there are two kinds of records that may show up on a background search: criminal records court records.
- Criminal records only include arrests for felonies or misdemeanors. Oregon state police records can be used to find these arrests. These records are never sealed and can always be accessed by the public for free either online or through a physical request at your local police department.2
- Oregon Court records include all criminal and traffic cases that were filed in an Oregon court of law. Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland and Washington County Circuit Courts Oregon both include information regarding estates, small claims, and driver or traffic cases. These records are public just like arrests, but they may cost money to access depending on what kind of case it is. Civil records such as divorce records are also public and may be found, but often also cost money to access depending on the county where you are searching.
Are There Any Special Rules for Employers When Searching for Criminal Records?
The rules for employers and background checks in Oregon are stricter than ever. New laws are in place that criminalize the practice of discriminating against an individual based on their arrest records when it comes to securing a job or apartment rental agreement among other things.
Regulations protecting job applicants from discrimination in Oregon include its Ban the Box law, Oregon Revised Statute 659A.360. The “ban the box” law is named for the checkbox on many employment applications questioning information about prior arrest or criminal history. This statute makes it illegal to ask an applicant about any arrests on a job application, except for jobs where criminal history is required by law.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains this further and provides some good information on how to avoid discrimination lawsuits when using criminal history information in hiring. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on criminal history when it is influenced by their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The law applies to all aspects of employment such as:
- Job advertisements
- Hiring selection
Oregon also has an agency known as the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. BOLI offers assistance to businesses in Oregon to help them understand and obey labor and civil rights regulations. Individuals are permitted to file BOLI complaints on their own behalf, however, the agency’s resources are limited and so legal representation may be necessary. It is important to note that BOLI has jurisdiction over any complaint filed within 90 days of the incident [BOLI].
Oregon does not currently have any regulations that place limits on the access companies or landlords may have to public records, inclusive of arrest records and county jail inmate rosters. This means it is legal for employers (and others) to search these databases without asking permission from an applicant first during the hiring process. When making a formal records request through the county or state, however, the applicant must be notified of the request so they can check their records for any inaccuracies.1
The laws in Oregon do not currently require criminal background checks for employment purposes to be performed by a government agency, but hiring managers may wish to utilize a background screening company in order to avoid any legal liability. A background check performed by a third party is also useful for verifying an applicant’s identity and contact information, which can help ensure that the employer uses appropriate forms of communication to contact them.
What Are County Jail Inmate Records?
County jail inmate records are made available online at Oregon gov via the county sheriff Oregon Offender Search (OOS) system. Inmates records are how to find out if someone is in jail. In order to obtain court records involving criminal history, you must file an official record request with the Oregon state police, sheriff, or Department of Correction (DOC) also located on the gov website.
If you are searching for someone who has been arrested in Oregon, you must provide the full or partial name. If you have a state identification (SID) number, it can be used as well.
If your search yields no results or shows that no records exist, then he or she is not currently incarcerated or in custody. The OOS website will only provide publicly available information about arrestees and the offenses involved with their current incarceration.
Will a Criminal Records Search Include Local Jail Records?
No, these are two separate databases and while many counties provide public access to the county inmate database, they do not normally give this information for use in background checks. A regular public records request will only return arrests that have been made on someone who currently lives within that county. If you have someone’s criminal report and want to see what current charges they may be facing, then you will need to use the inmate database instead of a general records request for this information.
How Long Will an Oregon Arrest Record Stay on a Criminal Report or Oregon Criminal Record?
Arrests in Oregon will show up until the cases are resolved one way or another. If a case is resolved with a conviction, the arrest will also show up on an Oregon criminal records search until it is either sealed or expunged by court order. In most cases, arrests that were never prosecuted, and therefore not convicted, will not typically appear as part of the public records in Oregon unless there are still pending charges that are open at the time of an arrest records search.
Does the Arrest of a Juvenile Show on a Criminal Record?
There are laws in place to protect minors when a juvenile criminal record is involved. In most cases, a juvenile record is sealed and inaccessible by public records search. This means that you can’t find out anything about crimes that may have be committed while the juvenile was underage and it typically will not appear on their permanent records.
However, in Oregon, if a juvenile is arrested and charged with an offense that would have been considered a felony as an adult, the public may be able to access the arrest history under certain circumstances. For more information on how to access juvenile records, you should contact the county police or an appropriate law enforcement agency directly.
How Do I Look Up Someone’s Arrest Record?
Thanks to the Public Records law, you can look up someone’s arrest record in Oregon by using public records. This means that it will be available for you to see online at no cost through the official government database or other publicly accessible databases. The information is limited but should include their name and details of what kind of crime they were arrested for if an arrest was made.
The Washington County Sheriff website provides detailed instructions on how to complete a request for records. You may also visit the county sheriff office in person to request a report. The types of records available include:
- Non-criminal activity
- Crimes involving property
- Arrested individual
- Limited information regarding juvenile incidents
Due to certain regulations at the federal level regarding government employment and housing, as well as with private sector companies such as banking institutions, credit card issuers, and loan providers, criminal background checks have become more prevalent in recent years. In order to avoid being turned down for jobs or housing, it is important to ensure that all the information in your permanent records is accurate and up-to-date.
If you have ever wondered how to do a background check on yourself to see if you have any inaccuracies on your permanent record, it is simple. You can do this by requesting a criminal background check from a reputable background service provider. These websites offer a wide range of services which include name-based and fingerprint-based searches as well as national and multi-state checks. If you have been arrested, then it is advisable to have your fingerprints taken so that this information can be included in any reports generated by these agencies.
If you have a criminal record, then it is important to make sure that all the charges listed are accurate. You should also include any arrests or convictions from other states, as well as federal cases if applicable. While this information may not be immediately available online in Oregon, trustworthy background check companies can provide it for you and help ensure your report is complete and accurate.
If you are performing a background check on someone else, then it may be difficult to get access to this information unless you have their consent or the proper legal authority. If they are unwilling to grant permission for you to see their criminal record, a name-based search is all that you will be able to perform. If it is for personal reasons, there is no need for consent, and you can access public records.
It is also important to keep in mind that some arrests are made without resulting in a formal conviction or guilty plea being entered by the defendant. Some of these may have been administratively dismissed but still appear on someone’s criminal records regardless. In order to determine which cases were dismissed without a conviction, you should contact the county court that handled the case directly.
Where Can I Find an Oregon Arrest Record for Free?
An Oregon arrest record is a publicly available document that can be found online. It lists all of the arrests made in the state or county with details about what crimes were committed and when they took place. The information contained in an Oregon arrest list may include personally-identifying information such as full name, birth date, and a physical description. However, this information is not available for all arrests in the state of Oregon.
In order to obtain an Oregon arrest list from a specific county, you will need to file a request with that county’s sheriff or police department. This request can be filed online but will involve a small fee. In order to find an arrest record for free, there are many websites available for you to search. However, many free websites contain unreliable information. If you are looking for a comprehensive arrest list, it is best to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, police, or perform a search with a reputable background search company.
Most employment requires some kind of background check before hiring regardless of state law. There are many private companies that can perform this service for you in accordance with state and local regulations. A criminal background check from a trustworthy screening agency will include information on arrests according to Oregon law. However, not all crimes are eligible in the state of Oregon and many states choose to exclude certain crimes from public records in order to protect an individual’s privacy rights or due to other laws that may govern when a crime is eligible for inclusion as part of a criminal history report.
Oregon has a public records law that provides easy access to criminal arrests for many of its residents. A reputable background check company will provide detailed reports on arrests or convictions according to current laws as well as federal regulations governing employment or housing eligibility. If you are looking for arrest records, Oregon makes it easy by it’s one special law that guarantees that every person has a right to see public information.
1Christiansen, Joel. n.d. BOLI Civil Rights Cases – Complaint Process. WorkLaw.io. 15 November 2021. Web. <https://worklaw.io/boli-civil-rights>
2State Records Oregon. N.d. What Is A Criminal Record In Oregon? State Records Oregon. 15 November 2021. Web. <https://oregon.staterecords.org/criminal.php>