HB 3201 will ensure that all defendants in Oregon who successfully complete diversion programs will conclude their case without a criminal conviction.
Under three separate diversion programs in Oregon, a person who successfully completes the program will have their criminal charges dismissed. But because of the current structure of our deffered action statutes, immigrants who successfully complete programs still have a "conviction" under federal law because federal law uses a broad definition for what is considered a "conviction" for federal immigration law. This can have dire consequences for immigrants of all statuses who are "convicted" of even a minor state law, including deportation and barring otherwise-eligible immigrants from receiving critical immigration benefits or even citizenship.
Diversion programs make our community safer by offering eligible defendants the chance to avoid criminal conviction and its collateral consequences by complying with conditions that are meant to address the harm they may have caused. This can include drug rehabilitation, alcohol treatment, or other educational and rehabilitative programs. HB 3201 will ensure that immigrant defendants simply receive the same intended outcome from deferred resolution programs as U.S. citizens in the exact same position.
UPDATE: The bill will only address controlled substance conditional discharges. It removed DUII diversions and DA deferred sentences. However, we will convene a group composed of broad stakeholders that will revisit the two other areas for future consideration.