Sealing a Washington State Court Record
The only way to ensure that the public will not have any access to information in a court record is to have it sealed. This is a difficult process because, generally speaking, there is a predisposition to having open access to court records. In other words, courts get suspicious of people trying to hide things. A request to seal, like vacating a conviction, is discretionary and the person must show a compelling privacy interest that outweighs the public policy of open access.
Depending upon the court and the judge, as well as the reason you are requesting to have your records sealed, sealing a records can be very difficult to accomplish.
Washington State Juvenile Records
There are different rules for cases occurring in juvenile court, and it is generally easier to vacate, seal and expunge records of juvenile arrests/convictions. Recent changes to the law mandate courts to seal some records automatically, but older cases may still require a request by the defendant.
If you want to clean up your criminal record, I would be happy to guide you through the process. Some things, like Washington State expungement, you can do on your own. Others, like vacating and sealing a record, you will need an attorney’s help. Contact me for more information.