This page can answer all of our Washington juvenile record sealing questions. Not sure if you are eligible for juvenile record sealing? Take our free online eligibility test to find out!
Simply click on a question to see its answer:
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 that we apply then to the total cost of any service that you hire us to perform.
No, your disposition does not matter. We can set aside your adjudication regardless of what you pled.
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 that sealing your juvenile record will be in the interest of society, (4) violating probation and (5) not paying fines.
You can destroy juvenile records in two situations. First, when you are at least 18 years old, your criminal history consists only of one diversion agreement or counsel, two years have passed since the completion of the agreement or counsel and release, no criminal proceeding is pending against you, and no restitution is still owed. RCW13.50.050(17(a) and (c). Second, when you are 23 years of age or older, your criminal history consists only of referrals for diversion, all the diversion agreements have been successfully completed and no criminal proceeding is pending against you. RCW13.50.050(17)(d).
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.
Typically, the case takes about four to five months.
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 DA 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 DA in anything they need to get your case heard.
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 your record dismissed.
If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If we do not believe that refiling would be successful we may recommend the person wait longer to refile.
After you complete your sentence for a juvenile offense, the court does not automatically seal the records. Therefore, the records are available to the public and you have to petition the court to seal the records. The order seals the juvenile court file, the social file (probation reports and information), and other records relating to the case as are named in the order. Once your record is sealed, your record shows as though the offense never occurred.
Yes, your record case can be unsealed if you are subsequently convicted of a juvenile offense or adult crime, or if you are charged with an adult felony.
Once your records are sealed, you do not have to disclose the case and can answer with confidence to any inquiry or to an application for employment that you have not been convicted of a crime.
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.
Your rights are restored, except an obligation to comply with an order issued that excludes or prohibits the offender from having contact with a specified person or coming within a set distance of any specific location, upon your discharge of your sentence and the certificate of discharge should state so. If your rights were not restored then we can file for a certificate and order of discharge. That will restore your civil rights.
Criminal violations may have severe consequences for immigrants, even if the crime is expunged/vacated/sealed. Even minor offenses such as petty theft can make someone deportable or inadmissible, while more serious offenses such as burglary may not have the same consequences. Since each case is unique, getting a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts is imperative. To find out if your criminal conviction will impact your immigration case, contacting a qualified immigration attorney is vital. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.
R.C.W. § 9.41.047 says you may apply a right to carry a gun or firearm in certain cases. If you were convicted of a Class B or C felony, and you satisfy the other eligibility requirements for restoring your gun rights, you must have lived in the community for at least 5 consecutive years without being convicted (or found not guilty by reason of insanity) of a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor offense. You must also not be currently charged with any such offenses either. If you were convicted of a non-felony (e.g., a misdemeanor), then you must have lived in the community for at least 3 consecutive years without being convicted (or found not guilty by reason of insanity) of a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor offense before you can apply. You must also not be currently charged with any such offenses either.
Firearm rights must be applied for separately from sealing the juvenile adjudication.
The proceedings in the case shall be treated as if they never occurred, and the subject of the records may reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events, records of which are sealed. Any agency shall reply to any inquiry concerning confidential or sealed records that records are confidential, and no information can be given about the existence or nonexistence of records concerning an individual.
If you want to join the US military, then it becomes a matter of federal law, not Washington state law. All branches of the military will want to know about your juvenile offenses, even if they have been expunged. There is still a risk of being discharged from the military if you don’t tell them and they later find out about it. It's always advisable to disclose that you had a conviction, but it was taken before a judge and he deemed it in the interest of justice to expunge/seal the record from public view.
Once your juvenile records have been sealed, your record is treated as though it never occurred, and you can deny your record on any application, including an application to become a police officer.
Your probation officer and the court are required to say that the records are confidential, and no information can be given about the existence or nonexistence of records concerning an individual.
That depends on the type of background check that is used. If the employer does your standard commercial background check, the case will not appear. An FBI background check may still show the juvenile offense.
Upon the order being granted, the clerk of the court transmits the order sealing the conviction to the Washington State Patrol Identification Section and to the local police agency that holds the criminal records. The Washington State Patrol Identification Section then transmits the order to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The agencies are not allowed to disseminate or disclose the conviction that was sealed to anyone.
The court updates the court records within 48 hours and the Washington State Patrol has up to 30 days to update their records. However, the Washington State Patrol typically updates their records before the 30 days expire.