Misdemeanor Expungement/Vacating Lawyer Vancouver, WA
Under Washington law, some misdemeanor convictions can be removed from your record through an expungement process. In fact, a significant number of misdemeanors can be removed under RCW 9.96.050, but some cannot be removed at all. First, you have to complete all the terms and conditions of your sentence. Then a period of time has to go by after completing the terms and conditions of your sentence (three years for most misdemeanors and five for DV offenses). Second, you have to have a misdemeanor conviction that is eligible for vacation. The misdemeanor vacation statute specifies that the following cannot be removed RCW 46.61.502 (driving while under the influence), 46.61.504 (actual physical control while under the influence), 9.91.020 (operating a railroad, etc. while intoxicated), or the offense is considered a “prior offense” under RCW 46.61.5055 and the person asking for the vacation has had a subsequent alcohol or drug violation within ten years of the date of arrest for the prior offense; The offense was any misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor violation, including attempt, of chapter 9.68 RCW (obscenity and pornography), chapter 9.68A RCW (sexual exploitation of children), or chapter 9A.44 RCW (sex offenses). Finally, the you want vacated was a violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030 or an attempt to commit a violent offense
Misdemeanor Expungement Questions?
Details Surrounding Expungement/Vacating
First, you cannot have any charges pending in any other jurisdiction. Moreover, you cannot have a subsequent criminal conviction, meaning you cannot go back and remove a conviction for an offense after you have plead or been found guilty for a crime after you were convicted of the crime you want removed. Sometimes people do not realize that they are pleading guilty to a criminal offense, like Driving While Suspended in the Third Degree and as a result, they make themselves ineligible to have the conviction they want removed vacated under the law.
However, there is an exception for convictions for prostitution if you were a “victim”. In relevant part, the statute specifically states that,
(3) Subject to RCW 9.96.070, every person convicted of prostitution under RCW 9A.88.030 who committed the offense as a result of being a victim of trafficking, RCW 9A.40.100, promoting prostitution in the first degree, RCW 9A.88.070, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, RCW 9.68A.101, or trafficking in persons under the trafficking victims protection act of 2000, 22 U.S.C. Sec. 7101 et seq. may apply to the sentencing court for vacation of the applicant’s record of conviction for the prostitution offense. An applicant may not have the record of conviction for prostitution vacated if any one of the following is present:
(a) There are any criminal charges against the applicant pending in any court of this state or another state, or in any federal court, for any crime other than prostitution or
(b) The offender has been convicted of another crime, except prostitution, in this state, another state, or federal court since the date of conviction.
Results of a Successful Expungement/Vacating Process
Once the court vacates a record of conviction, the fact that the person has been convicted of the offense shall not be included in the person criminal history for purposes of determining a sentence in any subsequent conviction, and the person shall be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense. For all purposes, including responding to questions on employment applications, the law allows the person to state that he or she has never been convicted of that crime.
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