Criminal records, at least in California, may soon be a bit harder to locate. Why? Because California is in the throws of possibly passing what proponents say could be the most sweeping law to seal criminal records in the country. All that is left is for the State’s governor to sign it into law. The bill – that would take effect in July 2023 – would automatically seal conviction arrest records for most ex-offenders who are not convicted of another felony in a four year period after completing their sentence, inclusive of parole and/or probation. Interestingly, arrest records (not involving charges or convictions) would also be sealed. The new law does not include convictions for serious and violent offenses, including felonies requiring sex offender registration.
The question is will this new law spur other states to also pass similar laws. It is well understood that a criminal record can trigger a plethora of legal restrictions, many of which can limit job, education and leasing/rental opportunities. Although in many locales prospective employers are prohibited from asking about arrest and criminal records prior to offering a position, this new California law goes a step further and seals anything that could be unearthed by prospective employers and/or landlords. Knowing how the legislature of Washington operates, it is no small bet that Washington will soon follow in the footsteps of California and seal criminal records if certain parameters are met. Such a law will give countless people a ‘new lease on life‘.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. Call SQ Attorneys – (425) 359-3791; (206) 441-0900.