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How To Vacate A Felony In Washington State

How Do You Get A Felony Expunged In Washington State

Vacate, Seal and Expunge Criminal Records in Washington

In the case of felony convictions on your record, your petition for vacating the conviction must be filed within 5 to 10 years after the conviction was imposed. For class B felonies, you must wait 10 years, whereas class C felonies must wait 5 years for filing. Running from the date of discharge, the clock runs 24/7.

How Do I File A Motion To Vacate My Felony Conviction In Washington

After you obtain your certificate of discharge, you have to file a written motion with the court in which you were sentenced and notify the prosecutor’s office of your motion.

For example: If you were convicted in Snohomish County Superior Court, you have to file your motion in that court and notify the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.

But before you actually file your motion to vacate your felony conviction, you will need to obtain a certificate of discharge.

What is a certificate of discharge?

A certificate of discharge is a Court document officially confirming that you have successfully completed all the conditions of your felony sentence in Washington.

That is, you have served your prison sentence, completed probation, and paid any fines, fees, costs, and restitution. In other words, your case is over, and you are discharged from the Court’s jurisdiction.

A certificate of discharge also restores your civil rights that you lost as a result of your felony conviction. You regain the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to run for public office.

A certificate of discharge does not, however, restore your right to possess firearms. There is a separate process in Washington for restoring your firearm rights.

You must have a copy of your certificate of discharge before you can apply to vacate your felony conviction in Washington.

Will the court send me a copy of my certificate of discharge when I finish my sentence?

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What Convictions Cannot Be Vacated

A criminal conviction cannot be vacated if any of the following apply:

  • There are criminal charges pending against you in this state, another state or in federal court.
  • The offense was a violent offense or an attempt to commit a violent offense .
  • The offense was for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs .
  • The offense was for actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs .
  • The offense was for operating a railroad while intoxicated .
  • The offense was any misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor violation including attempt of obscenity and pornography .
  • The offense was for sexual exploitation of children .
  • The offense was a sex offense .
  • For non-domestic violence cases, it has been less than 3 years since the completion of the original terms and conditions of the sentence, including any financial obligations or treatment ordered as a condition of sentencing.
  • For domestic violence cases, it has been less than 5 years since completion of the original terms and condition of the sentence, including any financial obligations or treatment ordered as a condition of sentencing.
  • For domestic violence cases, you cannot have had convictions prior to the one you are attempting to vacate that were related to domestic violence.
  • You are currently, or in the last 5 years, have been restrained by a domestic violence protection order, a no-contact order, an anti-harassment order, or a civil restraining order.

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Can A Class A Felony Be Expunged In Washington State

The state of Washington does not typically expunge Class A felony, violent crime or sex crime charges. As far as misdemeanor DUI convictions are concerned, Washington State does not expunge them. If the offense you are applying for to be expunged is misdemeanor or felony, never go back into prison for the same felony.

Can I Expunge A Court Record

Free Washington 3 Day Notice to Vacate for Waste, Nuisance ...

There is no legal authority allowing courts to expunge or destroy court records 152 Wn. App 186, State v Young). Although court records may not be expunged or destroyed, non-conviction records may in some circumstances be expunged from the files of other criminal justice agencies. For more information on removing non-conviction information, contact the Washington State Patrol.

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Vacating And Expunging Records

Many people are confused about Washington State expungement. How do you go about clearing your criminal records in Washington State? What is it called? Indeed, the Washington State expungement process is confusing. Record keeping can be complicated, the process has different names depending upon what you want cleared, and there are different rules depending upon whether you are dealing with the courts, the Department of Licensing, or law enforcement. Below is a summary of possible avenues for relief.

There Are No Pending Criminal Charges Against You

You cannot have any pending charges against you in any jurisdiction. This obviously means in Washington, but it also includes any other state, federal, or tribal court.

Traffic infractions and civil lawsuits are not included. Say, for example, that you’ve been cited for speeding and you have a court date scheduled next month. Or you’re facing a landlord-tenant dispute. Or you’ve been served with a protection order. None of these will prevent from filing a motion to vacate your felony conviction.

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How Long Does It Take To Expunge A Felony In Washington

Washington Felony or Misdemeanor Expungement Process. The amount of time that it takes a vacate a Washington criminal record varies by court, but the typical case in Washington takes about 3 to 4 months. Having handled cases in all 39 counties in WA, we can say for sure that the sooner that you start, the sooner that record will be cleared.

Explore Your Legal Options

Washington State Criminal Expungement Lawyer | WA Firearm Rights Restoration

Whether you want to vacate a wrongful conviction or improve your conviction record and background checks, Guadagno Law, PLLC can help. Attorney Albert Guadagno is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address all your questions and legal concerns, and with experience as a former prosecutor, he brings invaluable experience to your case.

Our firm offers free consultations and payment plans, and we have a track record of success.

Speak with Attorney Guadagno directly by calling us at 895-6800 or sending us a message online today.

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Washington States New Law To Vacate Criminal Convictions

Washington changed its laws in July 2019 to make it easier for you to vacate convictions in Washington. More people with felony and misdemeanor convictions can do something to get rid of them. Washington doesnt allow people to completely expunge or destroy criminal records, but they do allow criminal convictions to be vacated which is often just as good.

Vacating a conviction releases you from from the penalties cause by your conviction. You can actually deny the conviction even happened. However, the law also clarified that vacating convictions does not restore Washington gun rights. Restoring firearm rights is a separate process that you may qualify for. To see if you can restore your right to own a firearm, please take our law firms Eligibility Test to find out. This focus of this article is vacating convictions in Washington, not restoration of firearm rights.

What Does Vacate In Court Mean

To ask a court to set aside a court order or judgment, you have to file a request for order to set aside, sometimes called a motion to set aside or motion to vacate. The terms set aside or vacate a court order basically mean to cancel or undo that order to start over on a particular issue.

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You Have Not Committed Any Crimes For At Least 5 Years

In Washington, you must have spent at least five crime-free years in the community before you are eligible to vacate your felony conviction.

In legal terms, you must not have been convicted of any crimes during the mandatory “waiting period.” The length of this waiting period depends on your type of felony:

Class C felony: 5 YEARS

In Washington, 5 years must have passed since you were sentenced or released from custody or released from community custody

Class B felony: 10 YEARS

In Washington, 10 years must have passed since you were sentenced or released from custody or released from community custody

Example #1: You pleaded guilty to robbery in the second degree and were sentenced in 2015. You were released from prison in January 2017 and were not sentenced to community custody. You can file a motion to vacate your robbery conviction in January 2027, assuming you meet the other requirements.

Example #2: You pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree and were sentenced in 2015. You were released from prison in 2017 and were placed on community custody, which you completed in January 2019. You can file a motion to vacate your assault conviction in January 2024, assuming you meet the other requirements.

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How To Vacate Convictions In Washington

Form CR08.0900 Download Printable PDF or Fill Online ...

Having a criminal record can affect multiple areas of your life. If you were unjustly convicted, you may be able to vacate your conviction and get a second chance. Similarly, Washington Law allows some individuals to vacate certain convictions after they complete the terms of their sentences as long as they do not receive criminal charges in the meantime.

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Restoration Of Firearm Rights

Eligibility for firearms restoration depends upon: the nature and severity of the underlying conviction and the length of time you have been crime free since conviction or release from custody. The underlying conviction is the conviction which resulted in revocation of your gun rights. If the underlying conviction is a Class A felony …

In Wa State How Long Does A Domestic Violence Conviction

In WA state how long does a domestic violence conviction stay on a person’s record … Criminal defense Advice In WA state how long does a domestic violence c… Q& A. Asked in Seattle, WA | Jul 1, 2008 . … In Washington state a domestic violence conviction will stay on your record until you seek to have it removed. This can be done by …

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New Hope Act: Vacating Criminal Convictions In Washington State

A criminal conviction can have severe impacts on a persons life, even after release from prison. A history of criminal offenses can make it more difficult to find housing, employment, volunteer work, or even insurance policiesbut a recent law in Washington state may help remove these barriers. The New Hope Act, designed to help reintegrate formerly incarcerated people into society, streamlines the process to vacate criminal convictions. If you have a criminal record, you may be eligible to remove past misdemeanor and felony convictions.

What Is Vacating A Conviction

FAQ: Criminal Record Holding you Back? Vacating, Expunging, and Sealing Criminal Records

In Washington, vacating a conviction can refer to 3 separate legal processes. Vacating a conviction can be a way to change your plea, appeal a verdict, or clean up your criminal record.

If you pleaded guilty due to ineffective counsel, court bias, or juror misconduct, or the court breached its plea agreement, you can file a motion to change your plea or vacate your conviction. If this motion is successful, prosecutors may have the opportunity to pursue your case again.

Essentially, it will be as if your plea, trial, and/or verdict never happened, and you will need to go through the criminal justice system all over again.

Otherwise, the court may dismiss information or indictment against the offender, which means you will be released from all penalties of your offense, and you will be legally allowed to deny the conviction. Usually, the court only offers this type of vacation after you complete the terms of your sentence and pay all relevant fines.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington:

When a court vacates a conviction, it withdraws a guilty verdict and dismisses the case.

Although the conviction will not be completely expunged or destroyed, it will be clear that the case was dismissed or vacated whenever it appears on background checks.

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How Do I Expunge My Record In Washington State

Judges are responsible for signing certificates for any kind of expungement in Washington. You should contact the court clerk to inquire about any docket, judgment, and sentence copies prior to moving toward vacating your conviction. When filing this, the majority of the steps toward vacating your conviction will take place.

Restoring Gun Rights & Concealed Carry Permit

After a conviction is vacated, gun rights are not automatically restored. Restoring gun rights is a separate legal process that is handled in a different court.

The good news is that the requirements for vacating a conviction are very similar to the requirements for getting your firearm rights back. For many clients, we take care of both cases.

After your firearm rights are restored, you would then be eligible to apply for a CPL .

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Sealing A Washington State Court Record

The only way to ensure that the public will not have any access to information in a court record is to have it sealed. This is a difficult process because generally speaking there is a predisposition to having open access to court records. In other words, courts get suspicious of people trying to hide things. A request to seal, like vacating a conviction, is discretionary and the person must show a compelling privacy interest that outweighs the public policy of open access.

Depending upon the court and the judge, as well as the reason you are requesting to have your records sealed, sealing a record can be easy to almost impossible.

Seal Your Washington Criminal Record

Form CrRLJ09.0100 Download Printable PDF or Fill Online ...

For record sealing in Washington, we recommend the highest-rated expungement law firm, RecordGone.com They can help you seal or expunge your Washington criminal record or vacate a conviction. They specialize in criminal record expungement and offer a low-price and money-back guarantee. 877-573-7273 free eligibility test.

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What Does Vacating A Record Mean

Vacating a conviction for a misdemeanor crime means the court determines you meet certain conditions and orders. If you pled guilty to a crime, your plea will be changed to not guilty and then the charges are dismissed. If you were found guilty, the court may set aside the conviction, dismiss the case and vacate the judgment and sentence.

If your record is vacated, your name, the case number, the charge, a “V” for vacated, and, “DV” if the file was related to domestic violence will still show up in the court’s information system and online portal. Vacating a record does not remove information from the court’s electronic record. The record will remain and is public. The record will be updated to contain information about the vacation of the record. If you were arrested and fingerprinted, these records are maintained by the arresting agency, the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Questions regarding arrest records should be directed to the arresting agency or the Washington State Patrol.

How Long Does It Take For A Class B Felony To Be Expunged

Class B felonies require waiting 10 years, while class C felonies requiring waiting 5 years. The clock begins to run from the date of discharge. If you are not sure whether the waiting period has passed for your conviction, contact an attorney today.

In some cases, it is possible to get an assault charge expunged from your record. If this is an option for you, this is almost always a good thing to attempt. Complete all of the requirements set by the court for the assault conviction.

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Vacating A Washington State Criminal Record

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, then you cannot get a Washington State expungement. But you may be able to ask for your conviction to be vacated. When you vacate a conviction, a written request must be made to the court asking to remove the conviction and have the charge dismissed.

There are some offenses that are not eligible to be vacated, such as a DUI, and there are a variety of other requirements a person must meet. For example, at least three years must have passed following the end of any probationary period following conviction with no new arrests or convictions .

A request to vacate a record is discretionary, meaning a judge does not have to grant it, even if a person otherwise qualifies under the statute. Also, only one offense in a lifetime can be vacated. If a request to vacate is granted, the end effect is that the previous guilty plea is withdrawn and the charge is dismissed. Thereafter, a person can legally and honestly say they have not been convicted of the offense and would not need to disclose it as a conviction on future applications, etc.

Do Felonies Go Away In Washington State

Restitution, court fees, and vacating and sealing criminal cases in Washington state.

A felony conviction can be expunged in Washington so long as the following requirements are met: If your conviction is for a class C felony, you must wait five years from when you were sentenced, released from confinement, or released from Department of Corrections supervision, whichever happened last.

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