Expungement / Seal Record

Vacating Misdemeanor and Gross Misdemeanor Convictions 

Washington law permits the vacation of some misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions.

Vacation of a conviction releases you from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense.  Once a conviction is vacated, the fact that you have been convicted of the offense shall not be included in your criminal history for purposes of determining a sentence in any subsequent conviction.   For all purposes, including responding to questions on employment or housing applications, a person whose conviction has been vacated may state that he or she has never been convicted of that crime. Vacation of a conviction, however, does not affect or prevent use of the conviction in a later criminal prosecution.  Vacation of a conviction does not automatically restore your right to possess a firearm.

The new law does not automatically vacate your conviction.  If you want to have a conviction vacated, you must file a motion with the court.

Vacation of Record of Felony Conviction

Most offenders who have either been discharged after completing the requirements of the sentence or the conditions of probation may apply to the sentencing court for a vacation of the offender’s record of felony conviction.

Vacation of a record of felony conviction releases you from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense.  Once a record of felony conviction is vacated, the fact that you have been convicted of the offense shall not be included in your criminal history for purposes of determining a sentence in any subsequent conviction.  For all purposes, including responding to questions on employment or housing applications, a person whose record of felony conviction has been vacated may state that he or she has never been convicted of that crime. Vacation of a record of felony conviction, however, does not affect or prevent use of the record of felony conviction in a later criminal prosecution.  Vacation of a record of felony conviction does not automatically restore your right to possess a firearm.

The law does not automatically vacate your record of felony conviction.  If you want to have a record of felony conviction vacated, you must file a motion with the court.  The following information will assist you in deciding whether the law applies to your situation and, if so, how to ask the court to vacate your conviction.

You may not have the record of your felony conviction vacated if any of the following are true:

  • There are any criminal charges pending against you in any court of this state or another state, or in any federal court;
  • You have been convicted of a new crime in this state, another state, or federal court since the date you were discharged;
  • The offense was a violent offense (this includes all class A felonies);
  • The offense was a crime against persons;
  • You were convicted of a class B felony and less than ten years have passed since the date you were discharged; or
  • You were convicted of a class C felony, other than a class C felony described in RCW 46.61.502(6) or 46.61.504(2),  and less than five years have passed since the date you were discharged.
  • You were convicted of a class C felony described in RCW 46.61.502(6) or 46.61.504(2) and less than ten years have passed since the date you were discharged.
 
All above information pertaining to expungement / seal record was derived from the Washington State Legislature website.  www.leg.wa.gov
David O Defense
2211 Elliott Avenue, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98121
Tel: 206.459.6392
Fax: 888.615.0237
Email: david@davidodefense.com

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