Vacation of felony in Washington State allows people who were convicted of a felony – a crime for which the sentence is at least one year in prison – to remove it from their criminal records after a certain amount of time has passed. If you were convicted of a felony in Washington State at least 5 years ago, you may qualify for a vacation of the felony. This means you will not have to list it on job, housing, and other important applications.
Who can request a vacation of felony conviction?
- You were not convicted of a Class A Felony (the most serious type).
- If you were convicted of a Class C Felony, it was at least 5 years ago.
- If you were convicted of a Class B Felony, it was at least 10 years ago.
- You haven’t been convicted of a new crime since the date of discharge (the date the court provides a Certificate of Discharge).
- You don’t have any pending criminal charges.
- You were not convicted of a “serious violent crime” (defined by state law in RCW 9.94A.030(50)).
- You were not convicted of a “crime against persons” (defined by state law in RCW 9.94A.411)
Requesting a vacation of felony conviction
First, collect all the documents required to apply for a felony conviction. You will need the following:
- A criminal background check from Washington State Patrol
- The Judgment and Sentence for the conviction
- The Certificate of Discharge for the conviction
Next, create, or hire a lawyer to create, all the documents the court will need to consider your request. This includes:
- A Motion to Vacate the Conviction (a form requesting the vacation)
- A Declaration of Support of the Motion to Vacate
- An Order Vacating the Conviction
Finally, schedule a hearing date at the court that originally sentenced you for the felony, and notify the prosecuting attorney who was involved in your case. This process varies from court to court, so it’s best to contact the court clerk and ask about the rules for scheduling a hearing and notifying the prosecuting attorney. After all of this has been done, the court will determine whether to accept your request and clear your record of the felony.
What it may cost
Courts do not charge for the vacation of felony conviction process. If you hire an attorney, you will be charged for his or her services. Attorneys’ fees depend on their experience and area of expertise.