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Washington Probation Termination FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Washington Probation Termination service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.

What will show up on my background check?

Your probation will show as terminated and you are not still serving your sentence. However, your case will still show as a conviction unless you have your case vacated.

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Can I become a schoolteacher, nurse, or other occupation?

Having your probation terminated early will increase your chances of being hired because you can truthfully state you are not serving a sentence or are on probation. However, to increase your chances you should also have your conviction vacated so that you can truthfully state you are not convicted of a crime.

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What are my chances of success?

While we cannot definitively predict the outcome of your particular case, we have been successful in many of our probation termination cases. The more supporting evidence that you have of your reform and law abiding behavior, the better your chances of success become. The more you have complied with the conditions of your probation thus far, the higher your chances of success. If you would like us to evaluate your case we can do so for a fee that will be applied to the total probation termination fee if you decide to accept our services.

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What factors does the court consider?

The court considers criminal history, amount of time spent on probation, your age, seriousness of the offense, compliance with other terms of the sentence, the need for relief, the potential benefit to society, and any other relevant factors.

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How long does the process take?

The process typically takes three to four months, depending on your particular circumstances, the court’s workload at the time, and whether there are any objections from the government.

We base our estimates of how long a case will take on how long the average is for that service in that state. However, some cases can take less or more time depending on the facts of the case, whether the District Attorney is agreeing or objecting, the age of the case, etc. We work on your case as fast as we can and assist the court and District Attorney in anything they need to get your case heard.

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Can the process be done faster?

The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you sign up, the sooner your case is heard and decided. If helpful, we will gladly write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we have reopened the case and are in the process of having the probation terminated.

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How do I know what is going on with my case?

We have an online tracking system that is just for your case(s). You will have a user name and password for the account, which will have the information specific to the case. Whenever anything happens in your case, we post the information in your online account so that you can view the status of the case and the progress that is made. If there is no post on your online account, then that means that there is no update in the case. For example, once we update your online account to reflect that we have filed the motion with the court we will update the notes when we hear a response from the court or District Attorney. Depending on the court, a case can take several weeks to months to hear from the court or District Attorney whether there is an objection, hearing, or anything else. If something is taking longer than usual for the court, we will call to obtain status of the case and update your online notes. In addition to posting the status updates in your online account, we will post your case information in the case information so you are aware of the case and future hearings.

Moreover, we post your contract and payment plan information on the online account for you so that you can view all the information and print the necessary content.

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What if I don't know exactly what is on my record?

We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your record and to review what can be done. We charge a researching fee and we apply that to the total cost of any service you hire us to perform.

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What is the main reason that requests to terminate probation are denied?

Requests are denied for the following reasons: (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, (3) the court does not believe it will be in the interest of society, (4) violating probation terms, or (5) not paying fines.

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What if my case is denied?

If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. Wait until probation is naturally terminated or waiting longer to refile may be best.

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Does my disposition of guilty or no contest matter?

No, your disposition does not matter.

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Does it matter if I am on formal or informal probation?


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Does probation termination have a money back guarantee?

We are unable to offer a money back guarantee because the process involves a substantial amount of preparation and sometimes several appearances in court by our attorneys. We cannot afford to offer this low of a price and a money back guarantee.

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Do you have payment plans?

We can create a payment plan that meets your needs. Please view the pricing for details regarding the payment plans.

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Do I need to hire an attorney or can I proceed with terminating my probation on my own?

You have an attorney to (1) make sure the process is done right the first time so your case does not get rejected or cost you months of delay (2) handle objections from the district attorney (3) send an attorney to court to argue the case if need be and (4) write letters to potential employers letting them know that we have petitioned the court to terminate your probation early.

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Do I have to go to court?

No, we go for you. If the court requests your presence and you are unable to attend, then we will request for your presence to be excused.

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How does the attorney know about my case details?

Once you sign up we have you fill out a questionnaire on your personal online account. The questionnaire asks questions that will influence the outcome of the case and allows us to prove to the judge that you deserve to have your probation terminated. Although some of the questions may seem simple, the more information and detail that your provide in your answers the better we are able to argue the case in your favor.

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What happens after my probation is terminated?

You will receive a court order terminating your probation and closing your case. The restrictions that the court imposed on you during the probation period will be lifted. In most cases you will be eligible to vacate (i.e. “expunge”) your conviction once your probation is terminated. If there is a waiting period before you are eligible to vacate your conviction then terminating your probation early will start the waiting period earlier as long as you have completed all the other requirements of your sentence.

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How do the agencies know the probation termination was granted?

The court will issue an order terminating your probation and discharging you from the sentence. The court will notify the Washington State Parole and any local law enforcement agency that has records pertaining to the case that your probation has been terminated.

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How long do records take to be updated?

The court is the first to update its records. Other offices and agencies, such as the prosecutor’s office and the Washington State Parole, will receive notice from the court that your probation has been terminated (which is typically very soon after the court makes its order) and update their records. Keeping a copy of the probation termination order for yourself is advisable in the event that you need to provide the order to anyone in the future.

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Can I vacate/expunge the conviction if I am granted probation termination?

One of the requirements for expungement is that your probation is completed. However, there may be other requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for expungement (called “vacating” in Washington). Please take our free eligibility test to determine if you are eligible to expunge your conviction so you are no longer deemed convicted.

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Can I file to have my conviction vacated at the same time as filing for probation termination?

There is a waiting period after getting off probation and completing all the requirements of your sentence before you will be eligible to vacate that offense. However, by having your probation terminated early, if all the other requirements are completed, the waiting period will begin earlier.

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Does my probation have to be terminated if I want to vacate a different case?

Not necessarily. However, having your probation terminated will definitely look better and increase your chance of vacating another case.

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Will probation termination relieve me of the requirement to register?

Probation termination will not terminate the requirement to register.

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Will my record prohibit me from visiting Canada?

If you have been convicted of minor offenses (including assault, dangerous driving, DUI, theft, shoplifting, unauthorized possession of firearms, possession of illegal substances, etc.) or indictable criminal offenses (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.) you may be prohibited from entrance into Canada and further action will be required to find out whether you will be allowed entrance. The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States, so the Canadian government will have whatever information the United States has on file. Therefore, the first thing you should do is clear your criminal record to the fullest extent possible before submitting to a background check. The benefit of setting aside will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and no longer considered a conviction and improve the odds of not being denied entry to Canada or being stuck at the border for lengthy interrogation.

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Can I get a Sentri pass?

The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes. So, the only thing we can say for sure is that it would help; investing in record clearing before applying for a pass would be advantageous. A modest investment in getting your probation terminated could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied. The probation termination will show that you have resolved all matters with the court.

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Can I vote after my probation is terminated?

Yes. In Washington, only convicted felons lose their voting rights. However, even the voting rights of convicted felons are restored upon their completion of their sentence (including completion of any probation or parole) and receipt of a “Certificate of Discharge” from the Department of Corrections.

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Can I clear my federal conviction?

You can only expunge certain cases. Typically, you have to show that the conviction was wrongful or unconstitutional. Additionally, a person can apply for a pardon through the President. We do not handle federal cases at this time.

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Will terminating my probation restore my right to own a firearm?

No. There is a separate process, with its own separate requirements, that you must go through to restore your gun rights in Washington. Getting off probation or vacating/expunging the conviction will not do that. Please see the section on Washington restoration of firearm rights.

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Who may serve on a jury in Washington?

In Washington, you may serve on a jury if you: 1) are at least eighteen years of age, 2) are a citizen of the United States, 3) are a resident of the county by which you are summoned, 4) are able to communicate in English, 5) have not been convicted of a felony, or if you have had your rights restored to you.

http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/resources/?fa=newsinfo_jury.faq http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.96&full=true#9.96.010

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The first step towards a better life begins with finding out if you are eligible for Washington Probation Termination.

FREE Eligibility Test


Call us at 206-494-0018 or Toll Free (877) 573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.

Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
8201 164th Ave NE, Suite 200
Redmond WA 98052
*By Appointment Only