Seal your juvenile record in Washington state
Eligibility requirements to expunge your juvenile record in Washington state
To expunge a juvenile record in Washington state means to seal it. The statute that controls sealing a juvenile record is RCW 13.50.260.
You are eligible to expunge or seal your juvenile record if:
- You do not have any pending charges in any state or federal court (RCW 13.50.260(4)(a), (b)); and
- You have spent at least two consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any crime (RCW 13.50.260(4)(b)(i)), or five years if a class A felony (RCW 13.50.260(4)(a)(i)); and
- You have paid all ordered restitution in full, excluding any restitution owing to an insurance carrier (RCW 13.50.260(4)(a), (b)); and
- If convicted of a sex offense, you are no longer required to register as a sex offender (RCW 13.50.260(4)(a), (b)); and
- The juvenile record you are sealing is not for rape in the first degree, rape in the second degree, or indecent liberties actually committed with forcible compulsion. RCW 13.50.260(4)(a)(v). Rape of a child is not the same thing as rape.
A note on indecent liberties
You can seal your indecent liberties with forcible compulsion juvenile record if not actually committed with forcible compulsion. Indecent liberties with forcible compulsion is often used as a plea bargaining tool by prosecutors and does not always include allegations of actual forcible compulsion.
A note on timing
The two or five-year clock starts when you are released from confinement or from the entry of disposition, not from the time you pay off restitution. Thus, you can pay off your restitution and then immediately seal the juvenile record, as long as you’ve sent any two or five consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any crime.
Benefits of sealing a juvenile record in Washington state
Sealing a juvenile record in Washington state is extremely advantageous because it allows you to treat the proceedings as though they never occurred. In addition to sealing the court record, the Washington State Patrol removes the convictions from your official criminal history as maintained by the WATCH public criminal history database. Sealing a juvenile record does not restore Washington state firearm rights, which is a separate process.