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Shala Mosley

Other No-Crime Exonerations
Shala Mosley was one of approximately 90 people in Oregon whose convictions for driving with a suspended license were vacated after officials learned that glitches in the state’s record-keeping allowed these suspensions to remain on the books after their expiration.

Mosley, then 26 years old, was stopped by a law-enforcement officer on January 4, 2004. When the officer ran Mosley’s license through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the records showed that her driving privileges had been suspended, based on two previous misdemeanor assault convictions in 2000.

Mosley pled guilty to the charge in Multnomah County Circuit Court on July 8, 2004. Available records don’t indicate the sentence she received.

In 2023, the Oregonian newspaper ran a series of articles detailing the DMV’s problems with accurately logging suspended licenses. The problems stemmed from the DMV using a placeholder date for suspended licenses, either 12/31/9999 or 00/00/0000.

The placeholder was needed because under Oregon law, license suspensions don’t take effect until a person completes a prison or jail sentence. Under the state’s system, defendants were required to contact the DMV and submit a form signed by a jail or prison official to activate the suspension and set its expiration date. That frequently didn’t happen. In some instances, defendants forgot to follow through. In other instances, they never received the proper forms.

According to the Oregonian, district attorneys knew of the problems with the DMV’s system and had begun working with the agency in the summer of 2022 to develop a remedy, but there was insufficient urgency to move quickly. The Oregonian’s initial story ran in February 2023, creating pressure on prosecutors to act quickly and correct these wrongful convictions.

The Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office began reviewing cases. In Mosley’s case, the review found that her suspension remained on her record for more than a year after it should have been lifted, creating the problem at the time of her traffic stop.

The district attorney’s office and Mosley’s attorney filed a joint motion to vacate her conviction and dismiss her charge on May 23, 2023. A judge granted the motion on July 17, 2023.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 12/13/2023
Last Updated: 12/13/2023
Most Serious Crime:Other Nonviolent Felony
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2004
Age at the date of reported crime:26
Contributing Factors:Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No