Vacate a past criminal record. Seal a record from juvenile court. Remove your name from the juvenile sex offender registry.
A criminal record can hinder your ability to get a job, secure housing, obtain benefits, and more. But under Washington law, some felony and misdemeanor convictions can be vacated from your record. That means you can legally state on job applications, housing applications, and other forms that you've never been convicted of a crime.
DPD can help you get a record sealed from juvenile court or relieve you of the duty to register for juvenile sex offenses (see below), but the department does not represent clients seeking to get their records vacated. In King County, there are at least three organizations that provide this service:
- The King County Bar Association's Records Project
- Civil Survival
- Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Who qualifies to get their convictions vacated?
Not all misdemeanor or felony convictions can be vacated, and certain conditions have to be met.
Here’s a partial list of some of the requirements for vacating misdemeanor convictions:
- No pending charges.
- Three years since the completion of all terms of the sentence, including payment of financial obligations.
- No new convictions in the three years prior to application.
- Not a violent offense or attempt to commit a violent offense (RCW 9.94A.030).
- Not a DUI or Physical Control conviction.
- Not a conviction of obscenity or pornography laws (RCW 9.68), sexual exploitation of children (RCW 9.68A) or a sex offense (RCW 9A.44).
- Not currently restrained by a domestic violence protection order, a no-contact order, an anti-harassment order, or a civil restraining order; or a violation of such an order in the five years prior to application.
- Certain prior offenses (RCW 46.61.5055, e.g.: DUI amended down to another charge), domestic violence offenses, and prostitution offenses have additional, specific requirements.
Here’s a partial list of some of the requirements for vacating felony convictions:
- No pending charges
- Not a Class A felony
- Not an offense with a firearm, deadly weapon, or sexual motivation enhancement
- Not DUI or Physical Control conviction.
- For Class B felonies:
- No convictions for 10 years prior to application
- 10 years have passed since the later of: release from community custody, release from confinement, sentencing date
- For Class C felonies:
- No convictions for 5 years prior to application
- 5 years have passed since the later of: release from community custody, release from confinement, sentencing date
Sealing of juvenile records or removal of your name from juvenile sex registry
Juvenile records and the requirement to register for juvenile sex offenses can have long-lasting effects on a person’s life. DPD attorneys can help you address issues arising from juvenile court. What can an attorney do for you?
- Help you get a record from juvenile court sealed.
- Petition the court to lower the amount of money you owe.
- Petition the court to remove your name from the registry for juvenile sex offenses.
Call DPD at 206-296-7662 for more information about sealing juvenile records or obtaining relief from the requirement to register for a juvenile sex offense. Here's a brochure about this service.