We all understand that people make mistakes and we believe that people deserve a second chance. Baldwin Legal Group can help pave the way for school, employment opportunities, voting, or hunting by working with you to restore Gun Rights, Voting Rights, or Vacating/Expunging a prior conviction.
Washington’s Constitution calls for open records to be available to the public when they contain true and accurate information but that does not mean that your voting and gun rights can’t be restored or that a criminal conviction can’t be vacated on your record. There are processes in place through the courts to allow for this to take place.
Reinstating Voting Rights
For a felony conviction in a Washington state court, the right to vote is provisionally restored as long as the person is not under the authority of the department of corrections. For a felony conviction in a federal court or any state court other than a Washington state court, the right to vote is restored as long as the person is no longer incarcerated. (RCW 29A.08.520)
Restoring Gun Rights
Restoration of the right to own or possess a firearm is more involved. If the court convicts you of a felony or a domestic violence offense, you lose the right to possess a gun. You can request a restoration of your right to possess or own a firearm if you have completed all of the terms of your sentence, you don’t have any pending crimes, and a set number of years have passed since the completion of all terms of your sentence.
Vacating a Criminal Conviction (Felony or Misdemeanor)
Vacating a conviction is the process of taking a previous “Guilty” finding and changing it to a “Not Guilty” on the Defendant’s Criminal record. Many people refer to the process of “vacating” a conviction as “expungement” or “clearing the record” but there are precise rules around what convictions can and cannot be sealed and under what circumstances. Baldwin Legal Group are experts in determining what situations are eligible for a possible vacation of a conviction and will work with you to determine if you meet the qualifications.
We will help you prepare your request, giving you the best possible chance for success. Our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience working in Washington’s criminal justice system, representing clients in court, at hearings, and before judges. A judge will make a final decision on whether to grant the request; even if you meet all the requirements, it is up to a judge to decide the case.
Is a Criminal Record Gone After Vacating?
If your request is successful, you will no longer have that conviction on your record. However, all the proceedings will remain on file including your conviction and its dismissal. In very rare cases, the court does seal some criminal records but that is a separate process from vacating a criminal record.
Seek Skilled Professional Legal Help
A skillful defense lawyer can raise issues that may resolve a case without the necessity of going to trial and without the necessity of admitting to the charge or pleading guilty. The sensitive nature of these cases makes it all the more important that you retain a battle-tested attorney who will fight for you till the end.
Call our office today at (360) 464-3591 or email us here to set up a free initial consultation.