If you are seeking a Washington expungement please review the expungement overview below. Check back often or Sign Up for an email alert when the Washington Expungement Kit is ready.
Requirement(s) to qualify for an expungement in the state:
Juvenile Record Expungement
The court may grant your request in cases where the sentence was announced after July 1, 1995:
If your offense was not a sex offense or a Class A felony since you were last released from confinement, you have spent a specified time period since being released or had a final disposition without being convicted of any further offense.
If you are 18 years old and your only criminal history is a single referral for juvenile diversion, you may request that the court destroy its record in the matter if two years have passed since your diversion was completed.
If your only criminal history consists of more than one referral for diversion, you may request that the court destroy its records in the matters if you are at least 23 years old.
An expungement is allowed as follows:
Class B- after 10 years
Class C- after 5 years
Misdemeanor-after 2 years and person is now 18 years old
Gross misdemeanor-after 3 years and person is now 18 years old
Diversion- after 2 years and person is now 18 years old
An Adult Record Expungement
Sealing may be ordered by the court when a conviction is vacated or for compelling reasons in the interests of justice.
RCW 9.94A. 640 allows for the vacating of some felony convictions. If you were convicted of a felony committed after July 1, 1984, you may request, by motion, that the court vacate the conviction. Such a motion may only be granted if:
- you have completed your sentence and you have been discharged;
- there are no criminal charges pending against you in any court of this state,or another state, or in any federal court;
- your conviction was for a nonviolent offense; and
- since you were issued a discharge, you have spent a specified numbers of years in the community (10 years for a Class B felony, 5 years for a Class C felony, three years for a gross misdemeanor, two years for a misdemeanor or diversion) without committing any offense or crime that resulted in a criminal conviction.
RCW Chapter 9.96 authorizes the court to vacate misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor convictions. You may request by motion that the court vacate your conviction if at least three years have elapsed since the completion of your sentence, including any period of probation (five for domestic violence convictions)and:
- You have no pending criminal charges or new convictions.
- Your offense was not violent as defined by RCW 9.94A.030 or an attempt at such an offense.
- The offense did not involve driving while intoxicated or a related offense.
- The offense was not a sex offense.
Additional restrictions on who can qualify for an expungement
Whether a court record of conviction may be vacated, sealed, or destroyed depends upon the type of conviction (felony or misdemeanor), and the court where the conviction was obtained (juvenile or adult)
Dispositions that are adverse to you include the entry of an order to dismiss entered after the successful completion of a period of probation, suspension, or deferral of sentence. However, if the superior court has vacated your felony conviction, you may request that your record be deleted.
Does the law provide for sealing? What are the requirements?
A court order to seal a juvenile record may also include the removal of all reference to the arrest incident and disposition from the records maintained by the Washington State Patrol (WSP), but identifying information held by the WSP is not subject to sealing or destruction. Identifying information includes fingerprints, palmprints, soleprints, toeprints, and any other data that identifies you by physical characteristics, name, birthdate or address. The documents related to the arrest and disposition named in the court order are sealed in an envelope. The envelope is not opened unless the WSP is ordered to do so by a court or if you are later arrested for a felony or are found guilty of a crime or juvenile offense.
You may request deletion or expungement of Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) in the Washington State Patrol (WSP) if:
the file consists only of non- conviction data;
you are not under prosecution and you have not been arrested for or charged with a new crime; and either
- two years or longer has elapsed since the record became non-conviction data as a result of the entry of a disposition favorable to you,or
- three years or longer have elapsed from the date of arrest or filing of charges and you are not a fugitive and the case is not still pending in court.
What does it mean if you have a record expunged or sealed? (i.e., can you legally deny the conviction or arrest? Does anyone have access to the sealed/expunged records? Are they destroyed?)
The sealing or destruction of records is an expungement. Thereafter, the person may legally deny the existence of the records. There are some limitations - evidence of the conviction can be raised during a later criminal prosecution. Also, obtaining an order to vacate/seal most likely does not restore your right to own or possess firearms.
The vacating, sealing or destroying of a court record does not necessarily change or delete the records maintained by law enforcement agencies, the Department of Licensing or other government agencies. Requests to change or delete records maintained by other agencies should be made to that agency Computerized court indexes such as SCOMIS may still show the nature of the charge. Employers may check both SCOMIS and the FBI records and obtain this information. However, it is still worthwhile to obtain a court order vacating and sealing your record, since it does provide you some protection in background checks.
Are you eligible for a Washington Expungement? Most crimes can be expunged. For a description of the crimes that cannot be expunged, click here .
Be sure to check the site often
as we are in the process of adding the Expungement
Kit for the State of Washington soon.