Clear your record!

by:  Brett Nagle

In Washington State, most criminal convictions can be vacated and cleared from your record if you meet certain criteria. Vacating a conviction means convincing a judge to re-open your old case, enter a finding of “not guilty,” and close it again. Once a conviction is vacated, you will have a legal right to say you were not convicted of the crime.

Q: What types of convictions can be vacated?
A: Most misdemeanors and felonies. Not Class “A” felonies or sex offenses. Not DUIs.

Q: Am I eligible to have my conviction vacated?
A: If you were convicted of an eligible crime, your eligibility depends on the length of time without any criminal charges since you completed your obligations to the court.

For example, lets say you were convicted of Assault in the Fourth Degree in 2000 and placed on probation for two years. You were ordered to pay a find and restitution to the victim. In 2002, you completed your probation and paid all of your fines and restitution. You have not been charged with any criminal law violations since the 2000 conviction. You would be eligible to ask the court to vacate your conviction three years after the date you finished probation (2002). So, in 2005 you would be eligible to petition the court to vacate your conviction.

Please note: the above example is illustrative only, and not intended as legal advice. These cases can be complicated and different rules apply to different crimes. Please give us a call or email for advice specific to your situation.