2013 Legislative Update - Expungement and Vacation Laws

Posted by Andrea Robertson on Jun 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

This past legislative session the legislature contemplated making two substantial changes to the laws relating to the expungement of criminal records. Both attempts, for the time being, have failed.

First, the legislature considered changing the “vacate” law for misdemeanor convictions, which would have allowed persons to vacate up to four non-felony convictions from their criminal history. (See Substitute House Bill #1087) When a conviction is vacated, the guilty finding is removed and the charge is dismissed. Record of the conviction is removed from the official criminal history. Presently, a person may vacate only a single misdemeanor conviction. Therefore, the proposed change in law would have a profound impact for persons with more than one non-felony conviction. But, for the time being, this law will not change.

Second, the legislature considered changing the law for juvenile offenders to require that almost all records of juvenile cases be immediately sealed. (Engrossed Substitute House Bill #1651; Second Substitute Senate Bill #5689) The juvenile court statutes differ from other rules in that the act of sealing a file also acts to vacate any conviction associated with the file. Presently, all juvenile records are public record, but a person may seek to vacate and seal records as early as two years following the conclusion of the case. Therefore, this proposed change in law would also have a profound impact. But, for the time being, this law will no change.

Last, as we wrote earlier, the State Supreme Court will be reviewing the Court of Appeals decision in the case Encarnacion v. Hundtofte. Argument is scheduled for June 13, 2013. The Encarnacion decision has had a profound impact on the ability to seal court records to help persons pass background checks for employment purposes. We will post the Court's decision later this year.

About the Author

Andrea Robertson

Andy is a passionate, creative and effective criminal defense lawyer who is willing to fight on your behalf. She has honed her skills since 1998, and has developed a proven track record of creative, vigorous, and effective advocacy for clients throughout the State of Washington. Her practice includes all criminal charges. This includes felonies, misdemeanors, and driving-related charges such as DUI or vehicular assault/homicide.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Robertson Law

Robertson law logo

The attorneys of Robertson Law have a proven track record of creative and effective advocacy for clients throughout the state of Washington.

Contact Us Today!

Andy Robertson has a proven track record of creative and effective advocacy for clients facing criminal charges throughout the state of Washington. Ryan Robertson's practice focuses exclusively on high-quality creative appellate representation in criminal and administrative matters, as well as expungements, vacation of records, and petitions to seal.