Vacate Your Criminal Convictions

There is NO Downside to Request Your Conviction be Vacated

Sometimes life happens, and you make a mistake. That one mistake, that one moment can profoundly impact your life. A criminal history can follow you and continue to cause problems long after the mistake and long after you have paid for the crime and made amends.

With most crimes, Washington law allows you to ask the court to vacate your criminal conviction. If the court grants your motion to vacate your conviction, there would still be a file in the court’s archives; but, it would most likely not be reported in a background check.

Whether or not you can ask the court to vacate conviction depends on: (1) your conviction; and (2) how much time has passed since your conviction or release from custody.

Misdemeanor or Gross Misdemeanor

  • No new criminal convictions in any state;

  • No prior convictions vacated in any state;

  • No new pending criminal convictions;

  • Completed all orders from the court (like paying restitution or fines);

  • More than 3 years have passed since you have completed all of your court requirements (like probation)

    • If you were convicted of a crime with a domestic violence enhancement, 5 years must have passed since you completed all of your court requirements.

Felony

  • Completed all orders from the court (like paying restitution or fines);

  • No prior convictions vacated in any state;

  • No new pending criminal convictions;

  • More than 5 years after completing all court requirements, including probation, for a Class C felony; and

  • More than 10 years after completing all court requirements, including probation, for a Class B felony.

You Cannot Try to Vacate Some Crimes

Unfortunately, there are some crimes that you cannot vacate; such as:

  • Driving while Under the Influence;

  • A Class A Felony, a felony that is defined as a serious violent crime, or a felony crime against a person

Keep In Mind

Vacating a conviction does NOT automatically restore your gun rights. You must ask the court in a separate request for your gun rights to be restored. For more information, click here.

What Can You Loose From A Criminal Conviction

If you are convicted of a crime, you can suffer several consequences. Below is a list of just a few ways a conviction can negatively affect you:

Harm to your Reputation | Time in prison or jail | Large Fines | Loss of your right to carry or possess a firearm | Loss of your right to vote | Your assets can be seized | Permanent criminal record; and Immigration consequences.