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The Expungement Process in WA State

The expungement process in the state of Washington is unique to others in the U.S. The ability to have this done will depend on if you have received a misdemeanor or a felony conviction. There are several different steps you must follow to clear your criminal record.

Check the Time Requirements

A certain amount of time must pass before you are allowed to have your record expunged in the state of Washington. For misdemeanors, the time begins after the case has closed. If you have a felony conviction, then the time begins on the date that the Certificate of Discharge has been filed with the court.

Can the Conviction be Expunged?

There are certain conviction types that are not able to be expunged. Some of the convictions that can be expunged in the state of Washington include:

  • Sex crimes
  • Violent crimes
  • Class A felonies

For a misdemeanor charge, the ones that cannot be expunged are DUI convictions. You also need to make sure that you haven’t been convicted of another felony or misdemeanor after the crime that you are trying to have expunged.

Special Rules for Expunging Misdemeanor Convictions

If you are trying to expunge a misdemeanor charge, you cannot have had any other type of conviction expunged in the past. For example, if you have had a felony conviction expunged in the past, you won’t be able to have a new misdemeanor charge expunged.

Scheduling Your Hearing

In the state of Washington, the majority of courts will require a hearing to expunge any criminal conviction. If you have an attorney representing you, you don’t have to worry about going to the hearing. If successful, the judge will sign an order to have the conviction expunged and the charge taken off of your criminal record.

The last step is for the clerk of the court to process the order. Once done, a certified copy of the judge’s order will be sent to the Washington State Patrol. This will erase your conviction from the public database. At this point, you no longer have to worry about the charges you faced in the past.