Sex Offender Expungement in Washington State

Learn More About Appealing Your Sex Offender Registration Requirement

If you have a past offense that requires you to register as a sex offender in Washington State, it may be possible to petition to be removed from the sex offender registry. It is possible to clear certain types of sex offense convcitions, but before you can begin the sex offender expungement process you must first have your registration requirement lifted, as failing to comply with a sex offender registration requirement is a felony itself.

Separately, it may also be possible to appeal sex offender registration requirements.

Everyone’s case will be different, so you should speak with an experienced expungement lawyer to determine if you will be eligible to end your registration requirement.

Appealing Your Sex Offender Registration Requirement

Though there has been some push to end sex offender registries completely, Washington State currently maintains a sex offender registry, and failure to comply with this registration requirement will result in a new felony charge.

Fortunately, in many cases, it is possible to petition to be removed from the sex offender registry. The biggest step to sex offender expungement in Washington State, when it is possible at all, is to “be relieved of your duty to register as a sex offender.”

The requirement ends automatically in many cases after a given amount of time, provided that you commit no new offenses. In other cases, you can petition the court to relieve you of your requirement. There are also instances where you can appeal a sex offender registration requirement.

Adult Offenses

If you were designated a “sexually violent predator,” or if you committed a Class A felony that entailed “forcible compulsion,” petitioning to be removed from the sex offender registry is not possible. In these cases, state law requires that you remain a registered sex offender for the rest of your life. Sex offender expungement is not possible.

For Class A felonies other than those described above your registration requirement never ends on its own, but it is possible to petition the court to lift your registration requirement once 10 years have passed.

For others with lesser sexual offense convictions, your registration requirement ends automatically after 10 years for Class C felonies and 15 years for Class B felonies. At this time, it is not always possible to obtain a sex offender expungement of your record, and terminating your registration requirement is all that can be accomplished for many adult sex offenses.

Juvenile Offenses

If you were convicted of a Class A sex offense or kidnapping offense as a juvenile 15 years or older, the waiting period is 5 years. In all other cases, the waiting period is 2 years before you can appeal a sex offender registration requirement.

Sealing Your Record & Vacating Past Convictions

Once you are no longer required to register as a sex offender, the next step is to make sure you have fully paid any court-mandated restitution.

Then, as long as you have no other criminal convictions or pending criminal proceedings, you can proceed with sealing your criminal record, vacating prior convictions, and petitioning the court to be removed from the sex offender registry.

Let Findley & Rogers Guide You Through the Legal Process

At Findley & Rogers, we can help you with sex offender expungement and appealing sex offender registration requirements.

Our experienced sex offender expungement attorneys can help you figure out your exact requirements or pursue petitioning the court to be removed from the sex offender registry in Washington State. This can help you get your life back on track, whether it comes to job opportunities, apartment applications, firearm rights restoration, or custody agreements.

Contact us today and get the conversation started.


  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY