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Helping you move on after a criminal conviction

The criminal justice system has two purposes: to punish the offender, and to rehabilitate him or her to prevent him or her from breaking the law in the future. Which of these is more important depends on who you ask.

But when the system successfully turns someone away from criminal activity, their record can seriously hamper their attempts to move on with their lives. A felony on your record can stop you from getting a job, go to college or find a decent place to live. You cannot carry a firearm, or even vote. Even after you have paid your debt to society, it can seem like you must keep paying.

Here in Washington, the system allows many people to seek post-conviction relief and get their full rights restored. This is possible under the Revised Code of Washington, which contains a legal process known as “vacation of conviction.”

Not all convictions can be vacated after the fact. Violent crimes, crimes against children and drinking and driving crimes are ineligible.

People make mistakes, and some mistakes are so serious that they put you in prison. Once your sentence is over, you may want to “go straight,” but cannot because of your record. A restoration of rights can let you start to rebuild your life by erasing at least some convictions from your record, and possibly allowing you to stop having to register as a sex offender.

To learn more about getting a vacation of conviction, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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