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The Benefits of 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 can have many advantages that can help you move forward in life. With a clear criminal record, some benefits include:
- Ability to clear background checks.
- Reduced community and social shame.
- Can assist with your ability to restore your firearm rights.
- Being able to lawfully state on job, rental, and credit applications that you have never been convicted of a crime.
Getting a clear criminal record is only the beginning; A good lawyer to expunge records of your history of criminal convictions in Washington State also needs to be able to help you with other, related legal services, so that you can take back control of your record. At Findley & Rogers, we can help with all of those services, such as restoring your gun rights and sealing old convictions.
The Washington State expungement requirements are not hard to understand. For an expungement attorney to help you expunge your record in Washington State, you must meet specific eligibility requirements.
Here is what you need to do to get a clear criminal record through the expungement process:
All Criminal Convictions:
- Complete your sentence, probation, and community service (if applicable).
- 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.
- Pay all court-ordered fines and restitution. Note that the law on Washington State expungement requirements was recently changed so that you no longer have to complete these payments for the waiting period to begin. Now the waiting period for eligibility to get a clear criminal record begins as soon as you are sentenced or released from custody.
- 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 basic Washington State expungement requirements for getting a clear criminal record in the state are similar, but the waiting periods are generally longer and there are more crimes that are ineligible for expungement:
- For a lawyer to expunge records of your criminal history of 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. Your only option is to seek a pardon from the governor or to lobby for changes to state law if you want to get a clear criminal 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.
For a lawyer to expunge records of your criminal history, you will need to complete those waiting periods and meet all the other requirements.
Let Findley & Rogers Help You Vacate Old Convictions
You don’t have to live with past convictions holding you back. The expungement attorneys at Findley & Rogers are ready to help you navigate the legal process of getting a clear criminal record in Washington.
Review our testimonials page to see what clients around Washington state are saying about our attorneys.
Ready to take the next step? Learn more about the Washington State expungement requirements, and find a good lawyer to expunge record histories. Findley & Rogers serves all Washington residents, no matter what part of the state you’re in, so let us serve you.
Contact us today for a free consultation. A clear criminal record is within reach!
About Findley & Rogers
Founded in 2010, Findley & Rogers believes in helping those with criminal records understand their rights and future opportunities apart from their past. Our experienced expungement attorneys, Corey Rogers and Fletcher Findley, come from a legal background in criminal defense and public service. Their expertise in Washington state law and experience in the court system has helped numerous clients clear their criminal records and regain their lost firearm rights. Whether you are working towards expunging your record or restoring your gun rights, our services are affordable, work with your schedule, and always come with a 100% free initial consultation.