In Washington State, it is a common misconception that a juvenile conviction is automatically removed from your record when you reach the age of 18. Unfortunately, until the record is sealed, potential employers, colleges, and the public can easily access the juvenile court file that discloses the details of the case.
To have a juvenile record sealed in WA State, you must meet certain eligibility requirements AND a judge must agree that the record should be sealed. If the conviction was not a Class A felony or sex offense, you may be eligible to have your record sealed if 2 years have passed and the following conditions are met:
- There have been no new criminal violations
- No restitution is owed to the victim
- There is not a diversion agreement in progress
For a Class A felony, the above conditions must be met and 5 years must have passed.
If the above requirements are met, a motion may be filed with the court to vacate the records and seal the file. If the motion to vacate is granted, another motion must be made to seal the records. If granted, the official juvenile court file, the social file, and other records relating to the case will be sealed.
This means that the case will be treated as if it never occurred and you don’t have to disclose the conviction on job applications, college admission forms, etc. However, if there is a future conviction, the case may no longer be sealed.
At Beckwith Juvenile Law, we don’t just go through the motions and hope that the judge agrees to seal your record. An important part of our job is to demonstrate to the judge that you are a productive member of society and that your risk of re-offending is low.
Our firm has a proven track record for getting juvenile criminal records sealed in courts that include Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, and Olympia, Washington. Call us today for a free consultation.