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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27109
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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About 5 years ago I was arrested with felony assault but only

Customer Question

About 5 years ago I was arrested with felony assault but only convicted of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct. I want to remove the arrest charge from my record and also the misdemeanor charge as well but is it possible to remove the arrest charge? The case was such a waste of time and completely out of line but we were scared so I accepted the misdemeanor plea and I just want it all gone from my record cause intend to get a job in social work and hate having to explain my past.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
It appears you would be eligible to have your conviction vacated. Once that was done you could ask the judge to also seal it. If it was sealed, the arrest information would be sealed as well.
You can read more about this in a PDF file that Washington State provides entitled "A Guide to Sealing and Destroying Court Records, Vacating Convictions, and Deleting Criminal History Records in Washington State"
Unfortunately, the site's platform does not allow me to upload that article but if you Google the title I gave you, you'll get right to the PDF and can download it onto your computer and read what you'd have to do.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
whats the difference between vacating it and expunging it?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
An expungement destroys all of the records. Vacating the conviction only sets aside the conviction. So with an expungement, there's no record of the offense and you can deny having a criminal record. With vacating, the conviction becomes a dismissal, but the record of that dismissal can be found. So you can deny having a criminal conviction, but you will still have a record.
Your state will not expunge adult convictions. The best you can obtain is the vacating.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so when a future employee conducts a background check they will see it on my record?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
They will not see a conviction. They would see the arrest and its dismissal.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So there is no way to remove the arrest from my record because the misdemeanor plea doesn't bother me as much as the felony arrest. The arrest was completely out of line
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
No, there is not any way to do that. If you could expunge the conviction then the arrest would automatically be erased because the whole thing would disappear. Unfortunately, however, the best you you can get is the dismissal of the conviction.