Vacating Criminal History

Is it easy to clear my criminal history?

The right to clear criminal history in Washington has been greatly expanded, and we are helping our clients take advantage of this opportunity to have a clean criminal record. If you or someone you care about has a criminal history, now is the best time to talk to a lawyer about getting that record erased.

In 2019 the Washington Legislature passed the “New Hope Act”, which dramatically changed the ability to vacate previous criminal convictions. Prior to this change in the law, a person could only vacate one misdemeanor conviction and/or one felony conviction. Since the new law has been in place, there are very few limits on what kinds of cases or how many can be vacated.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

At a minimum to be eligible, all court-ordered conditions must be complete, and all fines, costs, and restitution paid. The convicted person must have no open criminal cases and must have stayed out of trouble for a specific period of time prior to the request to vacate, the amount of time depends on the charge being vacated. If fines were imposed that you can’t afford, we can discuss the process of having court fines removed from collections and in some cases waived outright. Our attorneys have had great success in reducing or eliminating burdensome court fines and costs based on recent legislation that limits fines that can be imposed.

Most violent felony offenses and sex offenses are not eligible to be vacated, and DUI / Physical Control is still excluded from the right to vacate. Even DUI cases that were amended to lesser crimes have some limitations in the ability to vacate. Domestic violence-related cases are also closely limited, but not excluded. Other than those categories, MOST convictions in Washington can be vacated and completely deleted from the defendant’s record. For many of our clients, this opens doors to better employment, educational opportunities, and housing options.

Does this mean I get my firearms rights back?

Restoration of firearm rights is a separate process, and our attorneys are well-experienced in these motions. A convicted person may be eligible to reinstate their firearms rights before they are able to vacate convictions, and in some cases may be eligible to vacate criminal history but not eligible to get firearms rights back in Washington. The motion to reinstate firearms rights is a civil legal action filed against the State of Washington, and if successful make it lawful for a person to possess a firearm and usually allows them to obtain a CPL. There are various limitations to eligibility, but our attorneys can review your specific case today to see if you qualify.

What do I do to clear my criminal history in Washington?

If you have criminal charges from your past still on your record today, call Glisson & Morris today and get a free evaluation of your history and eligibility. In most cases, if a client is eligible, we can have criminal charges vacated in a matter of days, not weeks or months. Don’t let your past continue to hold you back from your future!