Your New Hope – Expungement in Washington

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Being turned down from future employment opportunities, getting overlooked for prime renting or real estate purchasing, shifting in your seat when discussing past history with a future partner – these may all be real fears if you have a criminal record following you around.

Instead of preparing yourself for these uncomfortable situations though, you may be better off speaking to a Spokane expungement attorney – and taking these steps in order to truly put the past behind you.

Stay Out of Trouble

While this may seem obvious, it is imperative that you stay out of any legal trouble in any jurisdictions when seeking an expungement of your criminal record. Washington law maintains that you be free of any pending criminal convictions in this situation – keep this in mind.

Wait the Required Amount of Time

For all conviction records, your case needs to be closed, and you must wait a certain amount of time before being able to attempt an expungement.

In Washington, an expungement of a misdemeanor offense requires that you fulfill all obligations such as probation and fee payments, and that you wait three years after everything is complete.

A felony though, depending on the class of the offense, requires that you wait anywhere from five to ten years before attempting to get it expunged.

Understand What Can and Cannot Be Expunged

This is possibly the most important step in the process, as it will help you understand what your possibilities truly are.

Petty crimes, most misdemeanors, and some felonies can be expunged with the help of an attorney, providing that you obtain the necessary paperwork and follow the required procedure.

Unfortunately, there still exist some charges that cannot be expunged from your record. Any DUI or sex crime misdemeanors do not qualify, and must remain on your record. With this, felonies or misdemeanors that are considered “violent offenses” cannot be expunged either.

If your are not sure about your record, speaking to a legal professional can help.

Collect the Necessary Documents

If you are seeking an expungement of your criminal record, then you will need to get your hands on a few important documents to begin.

First, visit the court clerk and pick up a copy of the court docket – and make sure to head to the same court in which your case was filed.

Next, you will need a copy of your WATCH report, an official record of your criminal history in Washington. This can easily be obtained from the Washington State Patrol, either in person or from their interactive website.

You will also need of your Judgment and Sentencing Order to proceed, and if you have a felony conviction then you will also need a copy of your Certificate of Discharge.

Of course, if you have trouble acquiring or even locating these documents, a Spokane expungement attorney can help you along the entire process.

Contact an Attorney

Once you have waited the required time, understood your record, and picked up the paperwork you need, your next step in this process is contacting an expungement attorney in spokane. And once you do, rest easy that you are finally on the path towards closing the door on your past for good.

* Not all charges can be expunged & different time-frames for expungement apply to different charges.

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