Vacating a Conviction and Restoring Civil Rights

Vacating a Conviction

Qualifying individuals may either file a petition for vacation of a conviction directly with the Court, or pre-submit their petition to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for screening and determination of eligibility. If our office determines that the Petitioner is eligible, we will sign off on an agreed order ahead of time to streamline the process.

Our office can not provide legal advice or assistance in drafting and presenting petitions to vacate criminal records; we recommend you retain a private attorney, or use forms found on the Washington Courts website to vacate your prior convictions.

Certificates of Restoration of Opportunity

In some cases, a criminal conviction may prevent individuals from obtaining professional licenses and employment in certain fields. Qualifying individuals may present a Petition for Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity to the convicting court to have these barriers removed.

The Washington Courts website has forms available for self-help in obtaining a Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity; our office is unable to provide advice or assistance in preparing the documents.

Certificate of Discharge

A Certificate of Discharge is a court document that indicates that you have completed all requirements of your sentence for a crime (including payment of fines, costs, and fees). The Certificate of Discharge is necessary to vacate your conviction or obtain your firearm rights restoration. A Certificate of Discharge also provisionally restores all voting rights in Washington.

Our office prepares Certificates of Discharge in all cases that appear to us to be completed; if you have had a conviction and have fulfilled all obligations of your judgment and sentence, but have not received a Certificate of Discharge, please contact our office to obtain one.

Restoration of Firearms Rights

Conviction for a felony or any crime of domestic violence is accompanied by a loss of the right to be in possession of or own firearms. An individual who has lost their firearms rights for one of these convictions, but who now meets certain criteria can petition either the Superior Court in their county of residence, or the Superior Court in which they were convicted for a restoration of these rights.

Although the Washington Courts have not created a standard form for restoration of firearms rights, Columbia County has adopted a standard form that we ask you use to restore your firearms rights. Our office is unable to provide legal advice or help you fill out these forms; you may wish to consult with an attorney before you file your petition.