Law & Legal & Attorney Children Law

How to Expunge Juvenile Criminal Records in Washington

    Petition the Court

    • 1). Determine if you qualify. According to Washington laws effective after July 1, 1995, juvenile defendants who were not convicted of a sex offense or Class A felony, have not committed a crime during a specified time limit, have no juvenile or criminal offenses or proceedings against them, no formation of a diversion agreement being sought, and have paid restitution for the juvenile crime they want expunged are qualified. Also if a defendant successfully fulfills all the conditions of a deferred disposition of the juvenile case the conviction will be vacated by the court unless the defendant is convicted of animal cruelty in the first degree.

    • 2). Determine if you meet the time frame qualifications. If the defendant had a Class B juvenile felony, he can apply five years from the time of release of his confinement. A Class C felony, a gross misdemeanor, or a misdemeanor or a diversion agreement, requires a two-year wait, according to courts.wa.gov. The court seals successful deferred disposition within 30 days of a defendant's 18th birthday, provided the defendant turns 18 on July 26, 2009, or after. A defendant who turned 18 before July 26, 2009, with no other charges pending, may petition the court to have the records sealed.

      A defendant turning 18 who has only one diversion agreement or counsel and release entered before June 12, 2008, may request the records expunged after two years have passed. Defendants who have the diversion agreement or counsel and release entered after July 26, 2009, will have their records automatically destroyed by the court after two years.

    • 3). Request the forms needed to file for expunction. According to the Washington Courts website, as of 2010, the forms defendants need to file to petition to have their juvenile records sealed can be obtained from the court by contacting the Administrative Office of the Courts. Defendants can call 360-705-5328.

    • 4). Petition the juvenile court to have juvenile records sealed. In Washington, the clerk of each separate court stores the records. Fill out the forms obtained from the juvenile court. File a motion with the court. Provide a copy of the request or motion to have the record sealed to the prosecuting attorney.

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