THE NEW HOPE ACT: Changing the Eligibility Requirements for Vacating Criminal Convictions

Washington State has long allowed adults with criminal convictions to vacate convictions from their record. However, the previous eligibility requirements severely limited the ability to vacate certain convictions and the number of convictions eligible to be vacated.

In April of 2019, the Washington State legislature passed the New Hope Act, a law that changes the requirements for vacating criminal convictions in Washington state. Effective July 28, 2019, the New Hope Act eliminates many of the previous barriers to vacating misdemeanor and felony convictions, making more people eligible to vacate their criminal conviction. The New Hope Act broadens the ability to vacate convictions by:

  • Allowing additional felony convictions to be vacated;
  • Simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Certificate of Discharge for a felony conviction;
  • Eliminating the requirement that all fines must be paid in full before the waiting period for eligibility starts to run for a felony conviction;
  • Allowing new misdemeanor convictions to be vacated, specifically a failure to register as a sex offender conviction;
  • Allowing multiple misdemeanor convictions to be vacated, removing the previous rule that only allowed a person to vacate one misdemeanor conviction in their lifetime; AND
  • Removing the requirement that you must vacate your most recent misdemeanor conviction, allowing you to choose which conviction to vacate.

Click here for more information regarding eligibility requirements for vacating criminal convictions in Washington State.

If you were previously ineligible to vacate a criminal conviction and want to take advantage of the New Hope Act, contact an attorney Blair & Kim, pllc to find out if you are now eligible to have your criminal conviction vacated.