Expunge a Misdemeanor in Washington State

RCW 9.96.060 controls the expungement of a misdemeanor in Washington state. These rules only apply to adult convictions. Juvenile convictions are controlled by a different statute. The rules are slightly different if the conviction is for a domestic violence or drunk driving offense.

What are the rules for expunging a misdemeanor in Washington?

A misdemeanor conviction can be expunged in Washington so long as the following requirements are met:

  • If your conviction is not for a domestic violence offense, you must wait three years after completing all conditions of your sentence. This includes probation and legal financial obligations. The three year waiting period does not start until all conditions are completed. You must also have no convictions of any kind in the immediate three years prior to applying for expungement.
    • Everyone receives probation even if you do not have to formally report to a probation officer. Probation can run for up to two years after sentencing.
    • If your conviction is for an offense pleaded down from DUI, you must wait ten years after the date you were arrested and you must have no subsequent drug or alcohol violations.

 

  • If your conviction is for a domestic violence offense, you must wait five years after completing all conditions of your sentence. This includes probation and legal financial obligations. The five year waiting period does not start until all conditions are completed. You must also have no convictions of any kind in the immediate five years prior to applying for expungement.
    • Everyone receives probation even if you do not have to formally report to a probation officer. Probation can run for up to five years after sentencing.
    • A domestic violence offense does not have to be formally tagged as “DV.” If the victim was a family or household member (as defined by RCW 10.99.020), it is considered a DV offense, even if there is no “DV” tag.
    • A DV misdemeanor cannot be expunged if you have multiple DV misdemeanors from different incidents.

 

  • You are not currently restrained by any sort of no contact order and you were not found to have committed a violation of the order in the five years prior to applying for expungement.

 

  • There are no pending charges against you anywhere.

What types of misdemeanors cannot be expunged?

  • DUI and physical control (unless pleaded down).
  • Obscenity and pornography offenses under RCW 9.68.
  • Sexual exploitation of children offenses under RCW 9.68A.
  • Sex offenses under RCW 9A.44.
    • Failure to register as a sex offender can be expunged.

While these eligibility requirements may seem simple, they are not. Classifications of crimes can change over time, tracking down completion of sentence proof can be complicated, and court rulings may impact these requirements. Call 253-905-8415 or fill out the contact form for a personalized analysis of your eligibility from the leading Washington state gun rights and expungement lawyer.