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Vacating Past Convictions
Contact Our Expungement Attorneys to Expunge Your Record in Washington State
The primary tool for expunging your record in Washington state is a process called “vacating” the conviction. If successful, this procedure removes the finding of “guilty” from your old case file and legally entitles you to state that you have never been convicted of that crime. Once completed, Washington State and private background check companies will no longer be able to report that you have a conviction. Contact our expungement attorneys to get your life back today.
Old convictions can hang over your head, holding you back in many areas of life. The good news is that, in many cases, you can vacate prior convictions and get a clear criminal record. The expungement attorneys at Findley & Rogers can help you with expunging your record in Washington state.
Vacating a Past Conviction
“Vacating” a criminal conviction, also informally known as “expunging” a record, is the process of removing a conviction from your record. Unlike sealing an adult or juvenile criminal record, if you successfully vacate a conviction, Washington State and private reporting companies will no longer be able to report that you have been convicted for that crime.
Expunging your record in Washington state has huge advantages: It means you can lawfully state (on job applications, rental applications, etc.) that you have never been convicted of that crime. It also means that background checks (such as those for a rental application and more) won’t show your conviction.
Does a Vacated Conviction Go Away Forever?
While a clear criminal record will allow you to have a clean background check, your conviction will remain in the state’s court’s archives. An in-depth investigation into your background (e.g. for a sensitive job requiring high-security clearance) will be able to find this history. However, in the vast majority of cases, employers, banks, and others do not investigate people this thoroughly.
To expunge your record in Washington state, you must:
- Have complied completely with the orders of the court in your case.
- Have no new criminal charges in the last 3 years (5 years if your conviction was Domestic Violence related).
- Have no criminal charges pending against you in any state.
- Wait 3 years from the date you complete all court requirements including probation (This may be 5 years if your conviction was for Domestic Violence related charges).
- Note that you cannot vacate a conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
If you were convicted of a felony, the conditions to expunge your record in Washington state are similar but waiting periods are generally longer and there are more crimes that are never eligible for expungement:
- To vacate a Class C felony, you must not have been convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors in the last five years.
- To vacate a Class B felony, you must not have been convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors in the last ten years.
- Class A felonies, serious violent crimes, or crimes against another person cannot be vacated from your record.
- Note that it is sometimes possible to vacate 3rd Degree and 2nd Degree Assault and 2nd Degree Robbery charges as long as the crime did not involve a firearm or deadly weapon, was not sexually motivated, and was not committed against a law enforcement officer.
Let Findley & Rogers Help You Vacate Old Convictions
In most cases, you do not have to live with past convictions hanging over your head. The expungement attorneys at Findley & Rogers are ready to help you navigate the legal process of criminal record clearance in Washington.
Review our testimonials page to see what clients around Washington state are saying about our attorneys, and contact us today for a free consultation on how to expunge your record in Washington state.