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SEALING JUVENILE RECORDS IN WASHINGTON
Don't Let Mistakes From Your Youth Ruin Your Future
Most people make mistakes when their young, learning from it as they grow up. Mistakes from your youth shouldn’t follow you for the rest of your life, but, unfortunately, many juvenile records do.
Juvenile records limit opportunities for many, making life much more difficult. They make obtaining jobs and finding housing harder. Having a criminal record can even take away your Second Amendment right to own a firearm. More than anything, living with a criminal record just isn’t fair once you’ve paid your debt to society.
The State of Washington understands this and has changed its laws to make sealing juvenile records far easier now. Some records will now be automatically sealed when you turn 18, and, if you don’t qualify for automatic sealing, Washington law allows many people to apply to have their juvenile record sealed.
When a motion to seal a juvenile record is granted, the court’s order seals the court records, social files, and all other records relating to the case. A sealed juvenile record is treated as if the offense and proceedings never occurred. If certain requirements are met, many juvenile records qualify for full destruction.
Our law firm has helped thousands of clients seal their criminal records, and we hear success stories from them often. If a juvenile criminal record is currently holding you back, keep reading to see if we can help.
This Information Is For You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our Secure Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Has Your Juvenile Record Been Expunged Automatically?
If you were acquitted, found not guilty, or received an unconditional pardon, the court will immediately and automatically seal your record.
It should be noted that, if the court receives an objection to the automatic sealing of your juvenile record, the court will hold a hearing, and they can refuse to automatically seal your record if the court determines that automatically sealing the record would not be appropriate.
When your juvenile record does not qualify for automatic sealing, the general requirements to seal your record under Washington law (RCW 13.50.260(3)) include the following:
- You cannot have any adult or juvenile pending criminal charges or criminal proceedings
- You must have completed all the terms of each of the sentences from your juvenile convictions
- You were not convicted of Rape in the 1st or 2nd Degree (RCW 9A.44.040 or 9A.44.050) or indecent liberties that were actually committed with forcible compulsion (a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.44.100">RCW 9A.44.100)
- You have paid all restitution to the victim unless to an insurance company
- If you were convicted of a Class A Felony, five years have passed since completing the terms of your most recent sentence, and you have not been convicted of any new crimes
- If you were convicted of a Class B or C Felony or a Misdemeanor, two years have passed since completing the terms of your most recent sentence, and you have not been convicted of any new crimes and
- If you were required to register as a sex offender, you are no longer required to do so, or have been relieved from your obligation to do so.
1. Prohibited Sex Offenses
You will not qualify for automatic sealing if you’ve been convicted of a Sex Offense contained in RCW Chapter 9A.44. These sex offenses include:
- A felony violation of RCW 9A.44.132 (failure to register as a sex offender) if the person has been convicted of violating RCW 9A.44.132 (failure to register as a sex offender) or 9A.44.130 prior to June 10, 2010, on at least one prior occasion
- A felony with a finding of sexual motivation under RCW 9.94A.835 or 13.40.135 or
- Rape in the first, second or third degree (RCW 9A.44.040, 9A.44.050, or 9A.44.060
- Rape of a child in the first, second, or third degree (RCW 9A.44.073, 9A.44.076,9A.44.079)
- Child molestation in the first, second, or third degree (RCW 9A.44.083, 9A.44.086,9A.44.089)
- Sexual Misconduct with a minor in the first or second degree (RCW 9A.44.093,9A.44.096)
- Indecent liberties (RCW 9A.44a.100)
- Sexually violating human remains (RCW 9A.44.105)
- Voyeurism (RCW 9A.44.115)
- Custodial sexual misconduct in the first or second degree (RCW 9A.44.160, 9A.44.170)
- Criminal trespass against children (RCW 9A.44.196)
- Incest (RCW 9A.64.020)
2. Prohibited Serious Offenses
You will not qualify for automatic sealing if you’ve been convicted of a Serious Offense contained in RCW 9.94A.030. These serious offenses include:
- Assault in the second degree (RCW 9A.36.031)
- Assault of a child in the second degree (RCW 9A.36.130)
- Child molestation in the second degree (RCW 9A.44.086)
- Controlled substance homicide (RCW 69.50.415)
- Extortion in the first degree (RCW 9A.56.120)
- Indecent liberties (RCW 9A.44.100)
- Kidnapping in the second degree (RCW 9A.40.030)
- Leading organized crime (RCW 9A.82.060)
- Manslaughter in the first degree (RCW 9A.32.060)
- Manslaughter in the second degree (RCW 9A.32.070)
- Promoting prostitution in the first degree (RCW 9A.88.070)
- Rape in the third degree (RCW 9.44.060)
- Sexual exploitation (RCW 9.68A.040)
- Vehicular assault, when caused by the operation or driving of a vehicle by a person while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or by the operation or driving of a vehicle in a reckless manner (RCW 46.61.522)
- Vehicular homicide, when proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug as defined by RCW 46.61.502, or by the operation of any vehicle in a reckless manner (RCW 46.61.520)
- Any other class B felony offense with a finding of sexual motivation
- Any other felony with a deadly weapon verdict under RCW 9.94A.825
- Any felony offense in effect at any time prior to December 2, 1993, that is comparable to a most serious offense under this subsection, or any federal or out-of-state conviction for an offense that under the laws of this state would be a felony classified as a most serious offense under this subsection.
3. Prohibited Drug Offenses
You will not qualify for automatic sealing if you’ve been convicted of a Drug Offense contained in RCW 9.94A.030. These serious drug offenses include:
- Any felony drug crime (contained in ) except for:
- Any offense defined as a felony under federal law that relates to the possession, manufacture,distribution, or transportation of a controlled substance or
- Any out-of-state conviction for an offense that under the laws of this state would be a felony classified as a drug offense under (a) of this subsection.
Was Your Juvenile Conviction Expunged?
If you were convicted and completed your sentence after June 14, 2014, your juvenile record may be automatically sealed if you meet the following requirements:
- You have turned 18 years old
- The terms of your sentence have been completed
- You were not convicted of one of the Sex Offenses contained in RCW Chapter 9A.44 and listed below
- You were not convicted of one of the Serious Offenses contained in RCW 9.94A.030 and listed below
- You were not convicted of a Drug Offense contained in RCW 9.94A.030 and listed below and
- You were not convicted of a Class A Felony.
Legal Effect Of Expunging Your Juvenile Record
How Will Sealing My Juvenile Record Help Me Get a Better Job?
Sealing juvenile records is the best way to improve your chances of obtaining a job when you have a Washington juvenile criminal record. A sealed juvenile record is treated as if the offense and proceedings never occurred, as the court’s order seals all records relating to the case. However, the Washington State Patrol maintains the sealed record but cannot unseal it except for certain circumstances involving later convictions. If certain requirements are met, many juvenile records qualify for full destruction.
Will Expunging My Juvenile Conviction Restore My Second Amendment Rights?
In most cases, yes. Unless there is another reason, sealing a juvenile conviction that took your firearm rights away will restore them based on the juvenile sealing process under RCW 13.50.050. However, the firearm rights restoration process applicable to adults, which is outlined on our Washington Firearm Rights Restoration page, also applies to juveniles and should restore your Second Amendment right to own a firearm (RCW 9.41.040(4)).
We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in Washington on our Washington Firearm Rights Restoration page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Juvenile Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the Potential Benefits of Expunging Your Juvenile Criminal Record in Washington Include:
- Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Restoring your Second Amendment Rights to own a firearm
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
We Are Here to Help
Each of Washington's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Washington criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Washington criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Washington criminal record.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Washington state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!