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Criminal Records Create a Second-Class Citizenry: Changing the Way Adult Convictions are Vacated in Washington State

Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Forthcoming

50 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2013  

Dash DeJarnatt

Seattle University School of Law

Date Written: March 28, 2013

Abstract

This article principally focuses on the ability of a convicted person to remove or “vacate” his adult criminal records from non-Court entities in Washington State. Ultimately, Washington should remove the limit currently prohibiting a record holder from vacating more than one misdemeanor in his or her lifetime. A convicted person in Washington State is theoretically allowed to vacate an unlimited number of felonies in his or her lifetime. In contrast, he or she may not vacate a misdemeanor if any other conviction, misdemeanor or felony, has been vacated in his or her lifetime. I will posit that, for the purposes of vacating criminal records in Washington, at minimum, misdemeanors should generally be treated the same as felonies by allowing a convicted person to theoretically be able to vacate an unlimited number of misdemeanors. Employment, housing, and public safety factors, among others, tend to favor this prescription.

Keywords: vacate, expunge, seal, Washington, criminal records, collateral consequences

Suggested Citation

DeJarnatt, Dash, Criminal Records Create a Second-Class Citizenry: Changing the Way Adult Convictions are Vacated in Washington State (March 28, 2013). Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2342791 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2342791

Dash DeJarnatt (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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