Annotated Revised Code of Washington § 9.94A.637 and 9.94A.640

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Full Annotated Revised Code of Washington § 9.94A.637 and 9.94A.640

9.94A.637. Discharge upon completion of sentence--Certificate of discharge--Issuance, effect of no-contact order--Obligations, counseling after discharge

(1) When an offender has completed all requirements of the sentence, including any and all legal financial obligations, and while under the custody or supervision of the department, the secretary or the secretary’s designee shall notify the sentencing court, which shall discharge the offender and provide the offender with a certificate of discharge by issuing the certificate to the offender in person or by mailing the certificate to the offender’s last known address. A certificate of discharge issued under this subsection (1) is effective on the date the offender completed all conditions of his or her sentence.

(2) (a) When an offender has reached the end of his or her supervision with the department and has completed all the requirements of the sentence except his or her legal financial obligations, the secretary’s designee shall provide the county clerk with a notice that the offender has completed all nonfinancial requirements of the sentence. The notice must list the specific sentence requirements that have been completed, so that it is clear to the sentencing court that the offender is entitled to discharge upon completion of the legal financial obligations of the sentence.

(b) When the department has provided the county clerk with notice under (a) of this subsection showing that an offender has completed all the requirements of the sentence and the offender subsequently satisfies all legal financial obligations under the sentence, the county clerk shall promptly notify the sentencing court. Upon receipt of the notice under this subsection (2)(b), the court shall discharge the offender and provide the offender with a certificate of discharge.

A certificate of discharge issued under this subsection (2) is effective on the date the offender completed all conditions of his or her sentence.

(3) In the absence of a certificate of discharge issued under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, the offender may file a motion with the sentencing court for a certificate of discharge. The sentencing court shall issue a certificate of discharge upon verification of completion of all sentencing conditions, including any and all legal financial obligations. A certificate of discharge issued under this subsection (3) is effective on the date the offender completed all conditions of his or her sentence.

(4) In the absence of a certificate of discharge issued under subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section, the offender may file a motion with the sentencing court for a certificate of discharge and shall provide verification of completion of all nonfinancial conditions of his or her sentence, unless the court finds good cause to waive this requirement. A certificate of discharge issued under this subsection (4) is effective on the later of: (a) Five years after completion of community custody, or if the offender was not required to serve community custody, after the completion of full and partial confinement; or (b) the date any and all legal financial obligations were satisfied.

(5) The court shall issue a certificate of discharge by issuing the certificate to the offender in person or by mailing the certificate to the offender’s last known address.

(6) (a) A no-contact order is not a requirement of the offender’s sentence. An offender who has completed all requirements of the sentence, including any and all legal financial obligations, is eligible for a certificate of discharge even if the offender has an existing no-contact order that excludes or prohibits the offender from having contact with a specified person or entity or coming within a set distance of any specified location. In the case of an eligible offender who has a no-contact order as part of the judgment and sentence, the offender may petition the sentencing court to issue a certificate of discharge and a separate no-contact order, which must include paying the appropriate filing fee for the separate no-contact order. This filing fee does not apply to an offender seeking a certificate of discharge when the offender has a no-contact order separate from the judgment and sentence.

The court shall reissue the no-contact order separately under a new civil cause number for the remaining term and under the same conditions as contained in the judgment and sentence.

(b) The clerk of the court shall send a copy of the new no-contact order to the individuals or entities protected by the no-contact order, along with an explanation of the reason for the change, if there is an address available in the court file. If no address is available, the clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the order to the prosecutor, who shall send a copy of the no-contact order with an explanation of the reason for the change to the last known address of the protected individuals or entities.

(c) The clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the order to the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the order on or before the next judicial day. The clerk shall also include a cover sheet that indicates the case number of the judgment and sentence that has been discharged. Upon receipt of the copy of the order and cover sheet, the law enforcement agency shall enter the order into any computer-based criminal intelligence information system available in this state used by law enforcement agencies to list outstanding warrants. The order shall remain in this system until it expires. The new order, and case number of the discharged judgment and sentence, shall be linked in the criminal intelligence information system for purposes of enforcing the no-contact order.

(d) A separately issued no-contact order may be enforced under chapter 26.50 RCW.

(e) A separate no-contact order issued under this subsection (6) is not a modification of the offender’s sentence.

(7) Every signed certificate and order of discharge shall be filed with the county clerk of the sentencing county. In addition, the court shall send to the department a copy of every signed certificate and order of discharge for offender sentences under the authority of the department. The county clerk shall enter into a database maintained by the administrator for the courts the names of all felons who have been issued certificates of discharge, the date of discharge, and the date of conviction and offense.

(8) An offender who is not convicted of a violent offense or a sex offense and is sentenced to a term involving community supervision may be considered for a discharge of sentence by the sentencing court prior to the completion of community supervision, provided that the offender has completed at least one-half of the term of community supervision and has met all other sentence requirements.

(9) The discharge shall have the effect of restoring all civil rights not already restored by RCW 29A.08.520, and the certificate of discharge shall so state. Nothing in this section prohibits the use of an offender’s prior record for purposes of determining sentences for later offenses as provided in this chapter. Nothing in this section affects or prevents use of the offender’s prior conviction in a later criminal prosecution either as an element of an offense or for impeachment purposes. A certificate of discharge is not based on a finding of rehabilitation.

(10) Unless otherwise ordered by the sentencing court, a certificate of discharge shall not terminate the offender’s obligation to comply with an order that excludes or prohibits the offender from having contact with a specified person or coming within a set distance of any specified location that was contained in the judgment and sentence. An offender who violates such an order after a certificate of discharge has been issued shall be subject to prosecution according to the chapter under which the order was originally issued.

(11) Upon release from custody, the offender may apply to the department for counseling and help in adjusting to the community. This voluntary help may be provided for up to one year following the release from custody.

Effective July 28, 2019

9.94A.640. Vacation of offender's record of conviction

(1) Every offender who has been discharged under RCW 9.94A.637 may apply to the sentencing court for a vacation of the offender’s record of conviction. If the court finds the offender meets the tests prescribed in subsection (2) of this section, the court may clear the record of conviction by: (a) Permitting the offender to withdraw the offender’s plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty; or (b) if the offender has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, by the court setting aside the verdict of guilty; and (c) by the court dismissing the information or indictment against the offender.

(2) An offender may not have the record of conviction cleared if:

(a) There are any criminal charges against the offender pending in any court of this state or another state, or in any federal court;

(b) The offense was a violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030 or crime against persons as defined in RCW 43.43.830, except the following offenses may be vacated if the conviction did not include a firearm, deadly weapon, or sexual motivation enhancement: (i) Assault in the second degree under RCW 9A.36.021; (ii) assault in the third degree under RCW 9A.36.031 when not committed against a law enforcement officer or peace officer; and (iii) robbery in the second degree under RCW 9A.56.210;

(c) The offense is a class B felony and the offender has been convicted of a new crime in this state, another state, or federal court in the ten years prior to the application for vacation;

(d) The offense is a class C felony and the offender has been convicted of a new crime in this state, another state, or federal court in the five years prior to the application for vacation;

(e) The offense is a class B felony and less than ten years have passed since the later of: (i) The applicant’s release from community custody; (ii) the applicant’s release from full and partial confinement; or (iii) the applicant’s sentencing date;

(f) The offense was a class C felony, other than a class C felony described in RCW 46.61.502 (6) or 46.61.504(6), and less than five years have passed since the later of: (i) The applicant’s release from community custody; (ii) the applicant’s release from full and partial confinement; or (iii) the applicant’s sentencing date; or

(g) The offense was a felony described in RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504.

(3) (a) Except as otherwise provided, once the court vacates a record of conviction under subsection (1) of this section, the fact that the offender has been convicted of the offense shall not be included in the offender’s criminal history for purposes of determining a sentence in any subsequent conviction, and the offender shall be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense. For all purposes, including responding to questions on employment applications, an offender whose conviction has been vacated may state that the offender has never been convicted of that crime. A conviction that has been vacated under this section may not be disseminated or disclosed by the state patrol or local law enforcement agency to any person, except other criminal justice enforcement agencies. Nothing in this section affects or prevents the use of an offender’s prior conviction in a later criminal prosecution, and nothing in this section affects the requirements for restoring a right to possess a firearm under RCW 9.41.040.

(b) A conviction vacated on or after the effective date of this section qualifies as a prior conviction for the purpose of charging a present recidivist offense occurring on or after the effective date of this section, and may be used to establish an ongoing pattern of abuse for purposes of RCW 9.94A.535.

Effective July 28, 2019

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