Put Your Criminal Record Behind You
The existence of a criminal conviction can devastate one’s ability to improve their life. You may have to disclose your criminal history to schools, potential employers, landlords, loan officers, insurance companies, governmental agencies and military recruiters. As a result, a conviction can have a major negative impact on your life. Furthermore, having a criminal record can be downright embarrassing.
You may be able to change that through expunging non-conviction data, vacating prior convictions, sealing your record or restoring your gun rights. Having the right attorney is key. The post-conviction relief attorney at Platt, Thompson and Buescher, Brent Thompson, has built a reputation as one of the state’s most skilled attorneys in this field. His meticulous attention to detail and knowledge of the law lead to success for our clients again and again.
What To Expect From The Process
The first step in the expungement or vacation process requires the attorney to determine whether the client qualifies under the proper statutes. We use expungement to remove records relating to an arrest that did not result in a conviction. We ask the court to vacate convictions of a crime. Once we determine this is the right path for you, we look at whether your conviction qualifies to be vacated and file the proper forms with the proper court.
The court will then schedule a hearing. The prosecutor will check your criminal history and determine whether you are in fact eligible to have your conviction vacated. Both sides will argue their positions at the hearing, and the court will decide whether to vacate your conviction.
If you successfully vacate a prior conviction, you may legally state that you have never been convicted of that crime. This includes responding to questions on job applications. In short, vacating a prior conviction can relieve you from the stigma of having a criminal record.
Can You Seal Your Criminal Record?
Vacation is only the first step. The attorneys at Platt, Thompson and Buescher go beyond seeking vacation and argue for sealing your record in order to maximize your privacy. Sealing your record prevents the court from revealing information concerning the crime and protects your record from examination by the public.
Sealing is discretionary with the court. When one seeks to have their criminal records sealed, the court may engage in a balancing test where the privacy and safety concerns of the individual will be weighed against the public interest in maintaining records of the conviction. Factors the court may consider in favor of sealing include whether the conviction has been vacated and whether the individual has identified circumstances that require sealing. Juvenile records receive special attention from the court.
Restoring Gun Rights
Your criminal conviction may cost you your right to possess a firearm. This in turn can prohibit you from engaging in recreational activities such as hunting and also prevent you from keeping firearms in your home in order to defend yourself, your family or any livestock and animals.
Statutory law in Washington does provide ways to restore a person’s firearm possessory rights in certain circumstances, including:
- After an adult felony conviction
- After a juvenile offense in Washington
- After an adult misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence
- After an involuntary commitment
Attorney Brent Thompson has even won a case against the federal government that went to the appellate court. Not only did the court restore our client’s right to possess firearms, but it also ordered the U.S. government to pay our client’s attorney fees. In other words, you can feel confident in Mr. Thompson’s abilities.
Discuss Your Options With Us
Contact our Coupeville office today at 360-474-3994 to set up your consultation with an attorney or send us a message online. We are eager to help you put the past behind you and move on with your life.