Will Washington Courts Seal A Sex Crime Conviction?

Under a law passed by the Washington Legislature in 2011, most juvenile sex offenders can now petition a court to vacate and seal their sex offense convictions after a waiting period has elapsed. With this statute in place, fully rehabilitated adults, who have been denied housing, employment, schooling, and otherwise castigated for an incident from their youth, can get their lives back.

Attorney Amy Muth has successfully petitioned courts to vacate and seal her clients' juvenile sex convictions. She takes particular satisfaction in helping those individuals, now fully rehabilitated adults, move forward from a painful experience in their youth. She has been impressed with the successful lives her clients have had despite having a sex conviction on their record, and takes great pleasure in being able to tell them, after a court grants their petition, that they can now tell employers they have never been convicted of a sex offense.

How Washington Courts Consider Sealing Petitions

Petitioning the court to vacate and seal your juvenile sex conviction is a complex process, and includes petitioning to terminate your sex offender registration at the same time. The court will consider a list of thirteen criteria, including treatment, work and education experience, having a strong support network, input from the victim, input from law enforcement, updated polygraphs, among other factors. Ms. Muth works closely with her clients to gather this information to prepare a comprehensive petition to present to the court. Should the court grant the petition to seal your offense, Ms. Muth also follows up with law enforcement databases to ensure that your conviction data is not disseminated.

Not everyone is eligible to vacate and seal these convictions, and there are waiting periods in place. Our firm offers a free initial consultation to determine if you are eligible to seal your juvenile sex conviction. Call our Seattle office at 206-682-3053.