Last Updated: April 29, 2022
Washington law allows for certain misdemeanor convictions to be vacated if specific criteria are met. This means that the conviction will be treated as if it never occurred.
If you are seeking to vacate a drug-related conviction, you should first determine whether you can vacate your conviction under State v. Blake. If you are eligible under Blake, you should use that process. If you aren’t eligible, you should use the process on this page.
If you are not eligible to vacate your conviction based on the criteria below AND you have a case where you were convicted as a result of being a victim of sex trafficking, prostitution, or commercial sexual abuse of a minor; sexual assault; or domestic violence, please contact us. You still may be eligible to vacate your conviction.
For the following steps, you will need to go through your record case by case. Once you have gone through all the steps for one case, you can move on to the next.
If you do not remember the details of your conviction(s), we can provide you with a free copy of your criminal history.
Step 1Look for Automatic Disqualifiers
Do any of the following apply to you?
- You have any criminal convictions within the past 3 years (this state, other state, federal, or tribal)
An infraction is not considered a conviction.
- You have any pending criminal charges in this state, or any state, federal, or tribal court.
An infraction is not considered a pending charge.
- You are currently restrained by a domestic violence protection order, a no-contact order, an antiharassment order, or a civil restraining order.
- You were previously restrained by an order mentioned above, and had a violation of that order in the past 5 years.
If yes: You are not eligible to vacate any convictions
If no: Move on to Step 2
Step 2Completion of Sentence
Has it been 3 years since you have completed all terms of sentence (probation, treatment, etc.), including any payment of any legal financial obligations (LFOs)?
You may not remember the answers to the following questions, and they may not be clear from your criminal history report. However, you should be able to get the information from the court docket for the individual case.
To see when your LFOs were paid off, you will need a copy of the Case Financial History (CFH) for the specific case you are looking at.You can get a CFH from the relevant Court clerk’s office.
If it has been 3 years since you paid your LFOs and completed all other terms of your sentence: Move on to Step 3
If you have not yet completed the terms of your sentence or completed them in the past three years: You are currently not eligible to vacate this case
Step 3Look for Excluded Offenses
Review the List of Excluded Offenses.
If you were convicted of one of the above charges you are not eligible to vacate that specific conviction only. If the case included convictions for multiple charges, you may still be eligible to vacate the other charges so long as they are not also excluded offenses.
If no excluded offenses: Move on to Step 4
Step 4Domestic Violence (DV) Assessment
Is this a domestic violence case?
If you contacted us to get a copy of your criminal history, a domestic violence case will have a “Y” I the “DV” Column.
If no: Move on to Step 5
If yes: Continue analysis…
Are there more than 1 domestic violence convictions stemming from different incidents?
This refers to the actual date of the alleged DV activity. For example, if a single case has 3 DV Assault Charges, each occurring on a different date, they would count as 3 separate incidents. If you contact us to get a copy of your criminal history, you can see the date of the incident in the “Date” column.
If yes: You are not eligible for ANY DV related counts only.
If only 1, or convictions stem from single incident: Continue analysis…
Has it been at least 5 years since you completed all terms of sentence, including any LFOs and required treatment?
If no: You are currently ineligible for this DV related count.
If yes: Move on to Step 5
Step 5Prior Offense Assessment
Was this a “prior offense?”
A prior offense includes any of the following:
- You were charged and convicted of any of the following (or the equivalent local ordinance):
- Commercial Vehicle DUI/Physical Control, RCW 46.25.110
- Watercraft DUI, RCW 79A.60.040(2)
- Aircraft DUI, RCW 47.68.220, committed under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug;
- Nonhighway vehicle DUI, RCW 46.09.470(2)
- Snowmobile DUI, RCW 46.10.490(2);
- You were originally charged with DUI or Physical Control or an equivalent local ordinance, or Vehicular Homicide (RCW 46.61.520) or Vehicular Assault (RCW 46.61.522); but convicted of:
- Negligent Driving 1st – RCW 46.61.5249
- Reckless Driving – RCW 46.61.500
- You were originally charged with Watercraft DUI (RCW 79A.60.040(2)), but convicted of Operating a Watercraft in a reckless manner – RCW 79A.60.040(1) or an equivalent local ordinance
- You were originally charged with Aircraft DUI (RCW 47.68.220); but convicted of Operating an Aircraft in a careless or reckless manner – RCW 47.68.220 or an equivalent local ordinance
Is the offense a “prior offense?”
If no: You are eligible to vacate this count!
If yes: Continue analysis…
Has 10 years passed since the date of arrest for the prior offense without a drug or alcohol related violation?(A Blake conviction does not count as a drug or alcohol related violation.)
If yes: You are eligible to vacate this count!
Example: you were arrested for DUI on 1/1/2010. Eventually pled down to negligent driving 1st degree. You become eligible on 1/1/2020 only if there were no alcohol or drug violations in that time.
If no: You are not eligible on this count only.
What to do now
Now that you have reviewed your eligibility to vacate your misdemeanor conviction(s), please visit WA Law Help for more information on how to file a motion to vacate your conviction(s).
The information on this website is not legal advice. You should not and are not authorized to rely on this website as a source of legal advice. While Civil Survival goes to great lengths to make sure the information on the website is accurate, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of this website. We recommend that you consult with an attorney for assurance that the information on the website and your interpretation of it are appropriate for your situation.
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