Expungement Lawyers in Washington
It’s called ‘The New Hope Act’ and that’s exactly what it does. The law was passed in mid-2019 to allow more people an opportunity to clear their criminal records and ‘start over'.
There’s a lot of moving parts to the New Hope Act and many changes from previous expungement rules. The best place to start is to probably forget everything you think you know about expungement in Washington while ignoring most of what you may find on the internet.
Here are the facts.
First Steps - Before you can begin the expungement process you must have a Certificate of Discharge. That certifies that you have completed all the conditions of your sentence.
Courts and/or the Department of Corrections are supposed to issue a COD upon completion of a sentence. Unfortunately, more times than not, this does not happen. If that is the case for you, it is up to you to get it yourself. The new rules make this relatively easy – you’re allowed to directly petition the court for the COD by providing proof that your sentence was completed.
What Can’t Be ExpungedThere are no provisions for expungement of the following convictions:
- Class A felonies
- Felony DUI and Physical Control
- Violent Offenses against children
- Violent Offenses with a deadly weapon or sexual motivation enhancements
More felonies than ever are now eligible for expungement.
Generally: Class B felony convictions are eligible for expungement if ten years have elapsed since the conviction and there were no convictions of any kind during those ten years.
Class C felony convictions are eligible for expungement if five years have elapsed since the conviction and there were no convictions of any kind during those five years.
There are technicalities and exceptions. For instance, an assault conviction, regardless of the class or degree, is not eligible for expungement if the victim was a law enforcement officer.
As before, misdemeanor convictions may be vacated. What’s new is that you may now vacate more than one misdemeanor conviction within certain guidelines.
What to Do in an Expungement Case?
Contact Knauss Law if you think you’re eligible to take advantage of The New Hope Act. We have the experience (and history of success) to guide you through the process, ensure that every ‘I’ is dotted, and the petition is detailed and complete and ready for a judge’s signature.
Getting your record expunged is an important step. It can mean a promotion or a better job; make it easier to rent, bank, start a business; and much more.
A new world can open up – but it’s up to you to take the first step. Knauss Law is here to help, contact us as soon as you’re ready.