The State of Washington allows for a onetime vacation of criminal convictions. In order to be eligible to vacate a conviction, a person must be crime free for a fixed period of time, which depends on the type of offense.
Vacate and expunge are often used interchangeably. The process in the State of Washington is legally termed vacate. What this means procedurally is, we petition the court to withdraw a guilty plea or conviction, then enter a not guilty plea, which is then dismissed. After a conviction is successfully vacated, a criminal history check would show that charges were filed, but resulted a dismissal. The local court then sends the dismissal information to State and Federal reporting agencies. This is important in that most background checks ask for criminal convictions, not arrests.
If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in the State of Washington, and believe that you may be eligible for vacation, do not hesitate to contact The Philbrook Law Office. Not only is it important to clear your record now, you may lose the opportunity if you find yourself in further trouble. For example, if you are currently eligible, but then find yourself with a subsequent offense, you lose the opportunity to vacate the original crime. The law only allows for vacating one offense, and it must be the last in time.
Founding Attorney Matthew Philbrook attended Clark College, Washington State University, and Gonzaga University School of Law. He is a member of the Washington State and Oregon State Bar Associations and started Philbrook Law Office in 2005. He specializes in Personal Injury, DUI and Criminal Defense cases. Learn more about Mr. Philbrook.