EXPUNGEMENT/VACATING PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS

Maybe you, like most of us, have made mistakes in your past. You were accused and convicted of a crime and years later even after you’ve paid your debt to society, done your time, and moved on with your life. You still find that you are tripped up by events of the past.

Whether it is applying for a new job, passing a background check, trying to recover lost civil rights, or restoring your right to own a firearm expungement may be an option for you!

THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE TO REQUESTING YOUR CONVICTION BE VACATED

A criminal history can follow you and continue to cause problems long after the mistake and long after you have paid for the crime and made amends.

With most crimes, Washington law allows you to ask the court to vacate your criminal conviction.  If the court grants your motion to vacate your conviction, there would still be a file in the court’s archives; but, it would most likely not be reported in a background check.

Whether or not you can ask the court to vacate conviction depends on: (1) your conviction; and (2) how much time has passed since your conviction or release from custody.

MISDEMEANOR OR GROSS MISDEMEANOR CONVICTION

No new criminal convictions in any state;

  1. No prior convictions vacated in any state;
  2. No new pending criminal convictions;
  3. Completed all orders from the court (like paying restitution or fines);
  4. More than 3 years have passed since you have completed all of your court requirements (like probation)
  5. If you were convicted of a crime with a domestic violence enhancement, 5 years must have passed since you completed all of your court requirements.

FELONY CONVICTION

  1. Completed all orders from the court (like paying restitution or fines);
  2. No prior convictions vacated in any state;
  3. No new pending criminal convictions;
  4. More than 5 years after completing all court requirements, including probation, for a Class C felony; and
  5. More than 10 years after completing all court requirements, including probation, for a Class B felony.

YOU CANNOT VACATE SOME CRIMES

Unfortunately, there are some crimes that you cannot vacate; such as:

  1. Driving while Under the Influence;
  2. A Class A Felony, a felony that is defined as a serious violent crime, or a felony crime against a person

KEEP IN MIND

Vacating a conviction does NOT automatically restore your gun rights. You must ask the court in a separate request for your gun rights to be restored.

WHAT WE DO FOR YOU

At Betancourt Law we work with the state to help get your previous convictions removed from your record and preserving the rights that were thought to be lost. We offer an all-inclusive approach to Vacating your previous convictions. We aim to do this as efficiently and conveniently as possible for our clients. We gather your information, fill out the required forms and appear in front of the judge on your behalf, enabling you to focus on life without the concern of planning around court appearances.

If you think expungement may be right for you give us a call. our trained litigators are ready to walk you through what charges can be removed from your record so that you can go back to focusing on life without being hindered by the mistakes of the past.

RESTORING YOUR GUN RIGHTS IN WASHINGTON

If you are convicted of a felony or a crime involving domestic violence, you are banned to possess a firearm for your entire life. There are NO exceptions and there is NO minimum.  Knowingly possessing a firearm after you are banned from possessing a firearm is a felony under Washington Law.

Even being in a house or car where you know a firearm is present could result in a charge and conviction of a felony.

GUN RIGHTS RESTORED

Your ability to have your gun rights restored is based largely upon: (1) the nature of your conviction; and the (2) the length of time since your conviction or release from custody.  Some crime convictions prohibit your ability to ever have your gun rights restored.

Below are the following requirements you must meet before seeking to restore your gun rights:

  1. No new pending criminal charges in any state or federal court;
  2. You cannot be subject to an active restraining order;
  3. If you were convicted of a felony:
  4. At least 5 years has passed since the date of your conviction or release from custody;
  5. Your conviction cannot be for a felony sex offense, a Class A felony, or other felony that faces a potential sentence of at least 20 years.
  6. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor:
  7. At least 3 years from date of your conviction or release from custody (unless your conviction has a domestic violence enhancement, then at least 5 years must have passed since the date of your conviction or release from custody.

For Washington State background checks, you can order and print out your own criminal history at the following link:

https://fortress.wa.gov/wsp/watch/

Once you have this criminal history, you can contact us to discuss your eligibility.

FEDERAL LAW

There is currently no procedure for restoring your gun rights if you were convicted of a crime under federal law. So even if your rights are restored under Washington law, you could still be prohibited from having your gun rights restored.