Eligibility for Sealing Washington Juvenile Criminal Record
In Washington, if you were found guilty of an offense in juvenile court, you may ask to seal the records by filing a motion with the court. The court may grant your request in cases where the sentence was announced after July 1, 1995, if:
- Your offense was not a sex offense or Class A felony (e.g., cruelty to animals).
- Since release from confinement, you have spent a specified number of years in the community: (a) five years for a Class B felony (b) two years for a Class C felony; (c) two years for gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or a diversion agreement, without committing any offense resulting in conviction.
- No proceedings are pending against you for a juvenile or criminal offense.
- No criminal proceeding is pending for a diversion agreement.
- You have paid required restitution.
Once your record is sealed, it is as if it never occurred. You may state that you were not convicted of that offense. The records may be unsealed; however, if you are charged or found guilty of a juvenile offense or a crime after the court granted your request to seal the record.
Deferred disposition of a juvenile case can also be vacated: after you complete conditions of supervision and pay restitution, case records will also be sealed by the court at your 18th birthday. If you turned 18 before July 26, 2006, and have a deferred disposition vacated, you may also ask the court to seal.
Unlike adult criminal convictions, some juvenile records may be actually destroyed in Washington State. Here are two common examples, if you are now at least 18 years old:
(a) single juvenile diversion agreement
(b) counsel and release entered into before June 12, 2008, and past age 23.
In either case, you may request a court destroy its records of the matter if two years have passed. If (a) or (b) were entered into after June 12, 2008, the court will automatically destroy its records, so long as you otherwise are eligible for sealing. If not eligible, then another window may open when you are 23 or older: if your criminal history consists of more than one referral for diversion, you may request that court destroy its juvenile records, if you are at least 23 years old with no pending criminal matters.
For more articles on clearing your criminal record in Washington, click on the following articles: