Inquiring minds want to know when a felony can be vacated. In Washington State one need look no further than RCW 9.94A.640. That statute states that certain types of felony convictions can be vacated at some point down the proverbial road. But when, pray tell? And what is required?
According to RCW 9.94A.640 one must meet the following requirements in order to be able to vacate a felony conviction: First, the crime must have been committed on or after July 1, 1984. Second, there cannot be any pending criminal charges. This does not include traffic infractions or civil suits. Third, the conviction at issue cannot involve a Class A felony or certain ‘violent’ Class B or Class C felonies. Fourth, there cannot be any criminal activity for at least five years. A person must have spent at least five years ‘crime-free’ before they are eligible to vacate a felony conviction. Practically speaking this means a person must not have been convicted of any crimes during a mandatory ‘waiting period’. The length of this aforementioned ‘waiting period’ depends on the type of felony sought to be vacated. A Class B felony equals a ten year wait period. A Class C felony equals a five year wait period. In short, in each instance either five or ten years must have passed since the person seeking the vacation was (a) sentenced, (b) released from custody or (c) released from community custody, whichever is later. If these four specific requirements have all been met, a person convicted of a felony in Washington State is deemed eligible to vacate their conviction.
SQ Attorneys is a Washington State criminal defense law firm comprised of two seasoned criminal defense lawyers, Greg Schwesinger and Saad Qadri. Although the firm does not support or otherwise condone criminal behavior, the criminal attorneys that make up the SQ team certainly realize that sometimes good people make bad choices or get caught up in a bad situation. Some crimes like DUI don’t even include a ‘state of mind’ element. The government has simply legislated that certain behavior – regardless of the person’s intent or knowledge – is illegal. If you or a loved one is cited for a crime, regardless of the type, don’t despair, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney (like the ones that make up the team at SQ Attorneys) to assist you in navigating the criminal justice system. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 or (206) 441-0900.