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What is a Certificate of Discharge and How Do You Get One?

| Jul 22, 2021 | redemption law

When you receive a felony conviction in Washington, you lose many of your civil rights. The Washington Court System explains that a Certificate of Discharge restores some of these rights, such as your right to vote or serve on a jury.

Keep in mind, however, that a Certificate of Discharge does not restore your right to possess a firearm. Nor does it remove the conviction from your criminal record or relieve you of such obligations as registering as a sex offender or having no contact with your victim.

Application for Certificate of Discharge

Technically, the Superior Court that issued your conviction sentence must issue a Certificate of Discharge after you complete all the obligations that went along with the conviction. This does not always happen automatically, though. Your wisest course of action consists of checking with the court clerk’s office to see if the court, in fact, issued one for your case. If not, you must file a motion for a certificate of discharge with the court. Also, keep in mind that you must file a separate motion for each criminal case in which you received a conviction.

Proof of Conditions Completion

Under the New Hope Act you no longer have to complete all the conditions of your Judgment and Sentence in order to be issued a Certificate of Discharge.  The new law allows people to present to the judge the progress they have made since their conviction (i.e.: work history, education, stable relationships, etc.). Based upon your progress, the judge can decide to cancel the remaining conditions and grant your Certificate of Discharge.