Washington state could offer you the opportunity for a second chance. One of the most widely available options is a certificate of restoration of opportunity.
CROPs have limited effectiveness when compared with expungement, vacation of convictions and other more complete solutions. Basically, this could be your best option if you had already explored all others.
What is a CROP?
CROPs are civil court orders. As explained by the official Washington State CROP pamphlet, their most important feature is that they could restore your eligibility for certain occupational licenses.
Compared with other types of post-conviction relief, which typically involve removing records or reversing decisions, this adds something. If you qualify and successfully complete the procedure, you would carry a certification that you have undergone significant rehabilitation.
Who is eligible?
You could be eligible for a CROP if you have satisfied all of the requirements of your sentence. This includes paying all your fines and serving your jail time. If you have not completed all of your financial requirements, you could still potentially get a CROP if you show a good reason for your nonpayment.
Who is not eligible?
There are some indications that you would not be eligible. These include:
- A requirement to be on the sex offender registry or sex-related convictions
- A class-A felony, extortion or drive-by shooting conviction
- Convictions for any new crimes
This brings up an important side point. If you had a recent arrest and are still at the beginning of the criminal defense process, what you do now could matter. As you can see, some types of convictions make it difficult to get any type of second chance.
Is a CROP worth it?
Before you make a decision, you might want to consider the benefits. How likely is it that a CROP could help you achieve your goals? How might it reduce the impact of your legal history on your professional life? Gathering specific information should help you make the right decision.