Vacating Your Adult Criminal Record in Seattle

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Seattle skyline photo by Roger Ward

Seattle is the most populated city in the state of Washington and serves as the headquarters to several Fortune 500 companies such as Nordstrom, Costco,, Starbucks, Microsoft, and more, providing ample employment opportunities. Unfortunately, if you have an adult criminal record, it may be very difficult to obtain employment with any of these corporate companies. Fortunately, you may be able to vacate (expunge) your adult criminal record in Seattle, legally permitting you to deny the occurrence of the vacated arrest or conviction.

When you vacate a misdemeanor or felony from your criminal record, the guilty judgment is withdrawn and the charges against you are dismissed, allowing you to legally say that you were not convicted of a crime. You can submit applications for employment and housing with confidence knowing that your vacated offense will not show up on the criminal background check and that you can honestly say that you were never convicted of a crime.

How Does Vacating Your Adult Criminal Record Affect Your Rights?

When your Seattle criminal record is vacated you may be able to restore civil rights that were taken away from you as a result of your conviction such as your civil rights and your rights to own firearms. For instance, if you have been convicted of a felony, you cannot serve on a jury until you have your civil rights restored to you. While vacating your offense does not automatically restore your civil rights to you, clearing the arrest and/or conviction vacated and removed from your criminal record will make you eligible to have your civil rights restored to you.

Similarly, if your conviction caused you to lose your right to own a firearm, vacating your offense may make you eligible to have your firearm rights restored to you. Those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by the federal law have a lifetime prohibition to own firearms from the United States government (Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act). Otherwise, Washington law does not care how many felony convictions you have on your criminal record or where you received your conviction, but instead focuses on the nature of your conviction and when your conviction occurred. Make sure that you are eligible to restore you firearm rights before submitting the petition for restoration.

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