In 2016, Washington enacted the Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) bill. The law reduces barriers that individuals with a criminal conviction face, such as securing employment or renting a house. It can also restore their eligibility for occupational licensees.
A CROP can give you a lifeline, especially when you have no other possible legal solution. However, you must meet specific requirements.
Can you get a CROP?
Not everyone can get a CROP. A Washington court will deny your petition if you have not completed the requirements of your sentence, such as jail time and probation or if you fall behind on your legal financial obligations without sufficient reasons.
A conviction of certain crimes like sexual offenses, Class A felonies or a new arrest, conviction or pending charges after completing your sentence also bars you from getting a CROP.
How does a CROP help?
While a CROP does not seal or expunge your criminal history, it does appear in background checks. The certificate can show that you are law-abiding to a potential employer or landlord.
In addition, a licensing agency cannot deny you a professional license based on your conviction alone – although there are restrictions. A CROP doesn’t apply to law enforcement officers, lawyers or professional licenses where they have fiduciary responsibilities.
Get the necessary help in navigating the legal red tape
Everyone deserves a second chance. Therefore, do not let a past conviction stand in the way of a more fulfilling life. As such, you ought to explore your legal options and learn more about what you can do to bury the past and get a new lease on life.