Vacating Convictions

The Washington Legislature enacted a new law that permits the vacation of some misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions.

About Vacation Convictions

Vacation of a conviction releases you from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense. Once a conviction is vacated, the fact that you have been convicted of the offense shall not be included in your criminal history for purposes of determining a sentence in any subsequent conviction. For all purposes, including responding to questions on employment or housing applications, a person whose conviction has been vacated may state that he or she has never been convicted of that crime. Vacation of a conviction, however, does not affect or prevent the use of the conviction in a later criminal prosecution. Vacation of a conviction does not automatically restore your right to possess a firearm.

File with the Court

The new law does not automatically vacate your conviction. If you want to have a conviction vacated, you must file a motion with the court. The Instructions for Vacation of Misdemeanor and Gross Misdemeanor Convictions (PDF) will assist you in deciding whether the new law applies to your situation and, if so, how to ask the court to vacate your conviction.

More Information

Visit the Washington Courts website to access forms for Vacating Convictions.