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  1. #1

    Default Can You Expunge or Seal a DUI Conviction

    I'm in WA State, Des Moines Muni Court. Background info:

    At 17 years old I drank, to a BAC of 0.24. Some how I drove, hit a ditch and flipped my SUV 8 times. I was blessed enough to only hurt myself and come out of a coma I put myself in. I had a 10% chance of surviving at one point. I took my story and brought it to all of the drivers ed schools in my community. With my dads help we could leave an entire class of 15 year olds in tears. Tried to turn my accident into a positive thing.

    On April 25, 2010, I had my court date. I was charged with adult DUI. The prosecutor lowered to RCW 46.61.503, or Driver Under 21 Consuming (For BAC <0.08 ). Part of my sentencing was 2 years probation which I completed ~4/25/2012. I sent the judge a letter to vacate/seal the records pursuant to RCW 13.50.050.

    subsection 12 B) states:

    The court shall not grant any motion to seal records for class B, C, gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor offenses and diversions made under subsection (11) of this section unless:

    (i) Since the date of last release from confinement, including full-time residential treatment, if any, entry of disposition, or completion of the diversion agreement, the person has spent two consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any offense or crime;
    (ii) No proceeding is pending against the moving party seeking the conviction of a juvenile offense or a criminal offense;
    (iii) No proceeding is pending seeking the formation of a diversion agreement with that person;
    (iv) The person is no longer required to register as a sex offender under RCW 9A.44.130 or has been relieved of the duty to register under RCW 9A.44.143 if the person was convicted of a sex offense; and
    (v) Full restitution has been paid.

    I thought I fit that bill perfectly. All the judge sent back was this paper, which I scanned.

    First, here is a copy of my conditions of sentence and probation. Sorry it didn't scan too nicely, but you get the idea.

    I typed the judge a nice letter detailing what I've been up to, what I've learned, my career aspirations, the fact I'm graduation UW at 19 years old, etc. The court sent me this in return.

    I'm not sure where to go from here. It seems like the court is acting outside of the law, unless I missed something. I'd like to appeal, but I don't know how. I'm also considering applying for gubernatorial pardon, as I am not a recidivist drinker and it will do no harm to the community to pardon me. I truly believe it was a freak accident that could have been prevented if I had the respect for alcohol today that most kids at seventeen do not have. So, I'm looking for suggestions on what to do from here.

    Please don't flame me on DUI, or owning up to mistakes, ect. I've already gone to hell and back with this and I've probably saved countless lives through sharing my story with the community. I'm now graduating college and would like to broaden my job prospects via a clean criminal record.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Can You Expunge or Seal a DUI Conviction

    You were charged with adult DUI in an adult court? Then we're talking about an adult record, not a juvenile record, and relief would sought under RCW 9.96.060.

    "Aggravating offense"? I expect that's supposed to say "Aggravated".

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can You Expunge or Seal a DUI Conviction

    haha I agree. But regardless, I still believe I meet the criteria for RCW 9.96.060. What's the next step for me? I don't understand why an "aggravating offense" makes me ineligible for expunge - that is not written in the law.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Can You Expunge or Seal a DUI Conviction

    (1)Every person convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense who has completed all of the terms of the sentence for the misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense may apply to the sentencing court for a vacation of the applicant's record of conviction for the offense. If the court finds the applicant meets the tests prescribed in subsection (2) of this section, the court may in its discretion vacate the record of conviction by: (a)(i) Permitting the applicant to withdraw the applicant's plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty; or (ii) if the applicant has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court setting aside the verdict of guilty; and (b) the court dismissing the information, indictment, complaint, or citation against the applicant and vacating the judgment and sentence.

    Notice the bold portion, it states the court may vacate at its discretion. In the absence of a "must" or "shall," the court has discretion on whether to vacate or not. Apparently your judge decided not to vacate. Your next step would be to consult a local attorney familiar with the courts to see if they can get you a more favorable outcome.

    For what its worth, the judge may be looking at the severity of your accident, as well as your BAC, as aggravating. Was there any property damage as a result of the accident? Were there any other people in the car with you, whether they were injured or not?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can You Expunge or Seal a DUI Conviction

    Nope, just me. No property damage. I guess I'll just consult a lawyer. Thanks guys. Let me know if anyone comes up with any new ideas!

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