As an expungement attorney in Washington State, I often receive questions about vacating misdemeanor convictions. In this blog post, I’ll discuss what vacating a conviction means and how to determine if you are eligible for this process.
Vacating a conviction means that your guilty plea or the verdict of guilt is withdrawn, and a not guilty plea is entered. The charging document is then dismissed, which allows you to state for all purposes, including housing and employment, that you have not been convicted of the offense. However, it’s important to note that the conviction will still show up on your criminal history, but it will show that it has been vacated.
Eligibility for vacating a misdemeanor conviction in Washington State depends on the case type. Certain sex offenses and DUIs are not eligible unless they have been amended down to a reduced charge. However, the majority of other misdemeanors and assorted crimes, including domestic violence, are eligible for vacating.
The timeframe to qualify for vacating a conviction also depends on the case type. For domestic violence offenses, at least five years must have passed since you have completed everything. For general offenses, such as criminal trespass, theft, or harassment, at least three years must have passed since you have completed all the terms and conditions of your sentence and stayed out of trouble since then.
If you think you may be eligible for vacating a misdemeanor conviction, it’s best to seek the help of an experienced expungement attorney. I am available to review your case and determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. You can reach me, Stefanie Dorn, at (206) 222-8829 for assistance. Don’t let a past conviction hold you back any longer – call my office today to learn about your options.