You may have been dealing with undue hardships in getting back on your feet if you have a conviction on your record. Under a variety of circumstances, you may have an option for a second chance at gainful employment and securing decent housing. As noted on the Washington State Legislature’s website, you may find yourself eligible for a removal of your offense and conviction from your record.
Referred to in Washington State as a “vacation of offender’s record of conviction,” the court may clear your record if you meet the requirements. Certain offenses and conditions, however, may hamper your success.
What can I gain from clearing my record?
When you obtain a vacation of your conviction, you will no longer need to answer “yes” on employment applications inquiring about criminal convictions. Your conviction will also remain unavailable to potential employers or landlords performing official background checks. Law enforcement will, however, have access to your full record, including a vacated conviction.
What are some conditions that might prevent me from clearing my record?
You may not have an option to clear your record if you face pending criminal charges in Washington State, another state or in a federal court. If your charge involved your alleged participation in a violent offense or one in which a firearm or deadly weapon played a role, you may also find yourself ineligible for a vacation. Recidivism, a term used to refer to an “ongoing pattern,” reflects an additional negative factor when filing a motion for vacation.
The steps required to successfully vacate a conviction may appear daunting at first, but you may have more than one option to pursue. Considering the benefits of clearing your record, such as better employment and housing opportunities, you may wish to give serious consideration to following up on a fresh start.