Under the laws of the State of Washington, certain convictions are subject to vacation from a person’s record. The legal mechanism of a vacation is a two step process that works first by either withdrawing a plea of guilty or the setting aside a finding of guilt after a trial and then by, second, having the court dismiss the charge. Eligibility for a vacation of conviction depends on the nature of the conviction, the passage of time since the conviction, and the absence or timing of other criminal convictions. The time period to vacate a misdemeanor is generally three years from the completion of the sentence. The time period to vacate a felony ranges from five to ten years from the completion of the sentence depending on the felony’s classification. In such qualifying cases, we can provide the service of procuring court orders which would vacate such conviction from a person’s record.
We additionally can assist people who have juvenile convictions seal their court files if they are eligible under the law. It is a common misconception that juvenile records automatically seal upon a person turning eighteen years of age. That is incorrect. It takes affirmative steps by the person, or their attorney, to seal a juvenile record. Unlike a vacation, which changes the public record to show that the criminal charge was dismissed, the sealing of the record actually seals the court file so that no one may examine it and wipes the conviction from the public record. This is a legal mechanism that every eligible person with a juvenile conviction should utilize.
There are a number of circumstances where you could lose your right to possess firearms. Situations that could lead to the loss of this right include conviction for a felony, conviction of certain misdemeanors when the charged crime has a domestic violence (DV) designation, being involuntarily committed to a hospital for mental health concerns and even, in certain situations, when a felony is dismissed after a deferred sentence. Each situation has its own varying levels of complexity. To find out about your particular situation, we advise you contact us as soon as possible. In cases where a person’s right to bear arms has been revoked due to a criminal conviction or after a felony was dismissed pursuant to a deferred sentence, you may be eligible to have your right to possess firearms restored depending on the nature of the conviction and the passage of time that has gone by since that conviction. Our firm has represented many people in this process, resulting in those clients regaining an important right that they had lost..
Do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a free consultation or telephone conference to establish if you may be available to take advantage of one of the above statutory mechanisms that could help you put your past behind you.