June 23, 2017 Vacating Criminal Convictions, Expungement, Reinstatement of Your Right to Possess Firearms and Removal of Sex Offender Registration The Nahajski Firm has the experience and skill needed to vacate a criminal conviction, reinstate your right to possess firearms or even petition to terminate your sex offender registration requirement. We understand the impact that a criminal record can have on your ability to live your life, and through these processes, you can regain some of the freedom that you have lost following a conviction. FOR A FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION WITH ONE OF OUR ATTORNEYS CONTACT US TODAY via EMAIL or PHONE at 206-621-0500. Expungement Many clients contact our firm asking to have a prior conviction “expunged”. While state law does allow a case to be literally deleted off their criminal record, those cases eligible for expungement are extremely limited. If you were ever convicted or even placed on probation for a criminal case, then you are NOT eligible to have the case vacated. RCW 10.97.060 allows only “non-conviction data” be deleted from criminal justice agency files. An example of non-conviction data would be an arrest that never resulted in charges being filed, or a case being dismissed outright by a judge due to a variety of legal reasons. What has not considered non-conviction data is a dismissal resulting from a stipulated order of continuance, deferred sentence or deferred prosecution. Non-conviction data may be deleted two years from the date the record became non-conviction date or three years from the date or arrest, citation or summons. At The Nahajski Firm, we represent clients seeking vacation of a conviction, expungement, reinstatement of their driver’s license or right to possess firearms. We also assist clients in petitioning to remove sex offender registration. Vacating Conviction: Overview Most defendants who have been convicted will eventually want their case to be vacated. There are strict requirements as to which cases can be vacated and when. Those requirements differ depending on whether the underlying conviction is a felony or misdemeanor. In order to start the expungement/vacation/reinstatement process, our attorneys require the following information: Case number Courthouse Date of conviction Charge Length of probation If a charge has been vacated the court will withdraw the guilty finding, enter a plea of “not guilty” and dismiss the case. The case will now appear as a dismissal on your record. Even vacated convictions still appear on your background check as dismissals, but you are able to legally state you were never convicted of that crime. Vacating Felonies Washington State law allows a felony to be vacated if the following conditions are met: All conditions of the crime have been satisfied and the case “discharged”; You cannot have any convictions since the date of discharge; You cannot have any new criminal cases pending; The crime you are trying to vacate cannot be a “violent felony” as defined by RCW 9.94A.030(54) or a “crime against a person” as defined in RCW 43.43.830(7); And at least ten years have passed since discharge if this crime was a Class B felony and five years is a class C felony (unless the crime is a felony DUI). If you believe you are eligible to have the case vacated, contact The Nahajski Firm by email or phone at 206-621-0500 to discuss your situation in more detail. Vacating Misdemeanors Misdemeanors can be vacated if the following conditions are met: All conditions of the sentence have been satisfied; You cannot have any convictions since the date of discharge; You cannot have any new criminal cases pending; You cannot have had another case previously vacated; The crime you are trying to vacate cannot be a “violent felony” as defined by RCW 9.94A.030(54), a sex-related offense or a DUI/Physical Control charge; And at least three years have passed since the case was closed for all misdemeanors other than a domestic violence related charge, whereby you have to wait five years. If you believe you are eligible to have the case vacated, contact The Nahajski Firm by email or phone at 206-621-0500 to discuss your situation in more detail. Reinstating Right to Possess Firearms As a result of any felony or domestic violence related charge, a defendant’s right to possess firearms is taken away until that right has been restored by a superior court. RCW 9.41.040(4)(a) allows a petitioner who is prohibited from possession of a firearm under RCW 9.41.040(1) or (2) to petition a court of record to have their right to possess a firearm restored if the conviction was for a felony offense, after five or more consecutive years in the community without being convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity or currently charged with any felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor crimes, if the individual has no prior felony convictions that prohibit the possession of a firearm counted as part of the offender score under RCW 9.94A.525. If you lost your right to possess firearms for a domestic violence related misdemeanor, you are eligible to petition the court after three years. Currently, there are no mechanisms to reinstate your right to possess firearms due to a federal conviction. Contact our office right away to discuss the details of your situation and determine whether you are eligible to have your right to possess firearms reinstated now. Sex Offender Registration Removal Sex offender registration can have long-term consequences that last long after any confinement and counseling have been completed. A person required to register may petition the court to terminate the registration requirement if (a) The offender was a juvenile at the time of the offense; (b) If the person is required to register for a conviction in this state has spent ten consecutive years in the community without being convicted of a disqualifying offense during that time period; (c) If the person is required to register for a federal or out-of-state conviction, when the person has spent fifteen consecutive years in the community without being convicted of a disqualifying offense during that time period. Options also exist to petition the court to remove the community notification requirement after fifteen years, even if not eligible to have the registration requirement removed completely. The court shall consider an extensive list of factors in determining whether the petitioner can establish thorough, clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been sufficiently rehabilitated to remove the registration requirement. The attorneys at The Nahajski Firm have been successfully removing registration requirements for years. Contact the firm today by email or phone at 206-621-0500 to discuss your situation in more detail.