Washington state clear my criminal background check

Dennis has a special interest in record expungement because he understands that people make mistakes and believes that everyone deserves a chance to rehabilitate themselves and begin anew. Since , Dennis has been successfully helping people gain a fresh start in life. He serves as a member of the Continuing Legal Education faculty with the Washington State Bar Association and presents sessions on expungement law for attorneys throughout Washington, California, Idaho, and Oregon.

Washington State Expungement Guide| Clear Your Criminal Record

If you were convicted of a criminal offense, you may be eligible to have your conviction vacated. Vacating your conviction clears your conviction record with the Washington State Patrol, local police agencies, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the court system. Once your conviction is vacated, your criminal history will reflect a dismissal.

When your criminal matter has been dismissed, it can be cleared from your criminal history.

Once your dismissal is deleted, it is removed from public access. If you were arrested and fingerprinted but never charged, your fingerprint records can be destroyed. Once you have reached the age of 18 or older, you may be eligible to have your juvenile criminal court records vacated and sealed. There will still be a court record of everything that occurred in the case unless the record is also sealed see below.

Also, the Department of Licensing does not recognize vacated convictions, so if the offense was a driving offense DOL will still maintain the conviction information on its own records.

Expunge, Vacate, and Seal

The only way to ensure that the public will not have any access to information in a court record is to have it sealed. This is a difficult process because, generally speaking, there is a predisposition to having open access to court records. In other words, courts get suspicious of people trying to hide things. A request to seal, like vacating a conviction, is discretionary and the person must show a compelling privacy interest that outweighs the public policy of open access. Depending upon the court and the judge, as well as the reason you are requesting to have your records sealed, sealing a records can be very difficult to accomplish.

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Recent changes to the law mandate courts to seal some records automatically, but older cases may still require a request by the defendant. Some things, like Washington State expungement, you can do on your own.

Vacating Adult Criminal Convictions

Contact me for more information. Download our useful forms. If you are eligible for vacating a felony conviction, work with an attorney to ensure you fill out the proper forms, court documents, and that you include the necessary documentation. You may be able to obtain an agreement to vacate your conviction with the prosecutor. This would enable you to avoid a court hearing.

Expungement for Arrests in Washington

However, you may also need to attend a court hearing and argue for this measure before a judge. If your conviction is vacated, you can honestly say you were never convicted of a crime. A conviction also will not come up on a background check. However, this is not the same as having your records destroyed or sealed. Public records of the case will still exist unless you are able to have the records sealed.


This is another legal process during which the judge has discretion to allow it or not. If you have a criminal record that you would like to clean up, call Emerald City Law Group today. If you are eligible for one of these measures, we can guide you through the process.

Call us at or use the online form to schedule a consultation. Can You Expunge a Felony in Washington? Call Emerald City Law Group today.