Delete Non-Conviction Data From Criminal Record

Many people will be accused of wrong doing during their lifetimes. Such accusations may be for things as petty as having a dog off a leash, jaywalking, or trespassing. Other accusations may be as serious as murder. However, oftentimes people who are simply accused are in fact innocent and their charges may be dropped or dismissed. Nevertheless, the record of the arrest or case will remain as a part of the person’s criminal history. This information alone can have negative consequences. The record may impact one’s reputation. It may create an awkward moment during a job interview. It may cause uncertainty when filling out applications. The information also may be simply embarrassing. Knowing such data exists may be just downright irritating. Fortunately, in Washington State a person may be able to have “nonconviction data” deleted or removed from their criminal history. RCW 10.97.060.

“Nonconviction data” means criminal history other than a conviction or “other disposition adverse to the subject” regarding cases that are no longer pending. RCW 10.97.030(2). An “other disposition adverse to the subject” includes a not guilty by reason of insanity, dismissal due to incompetence, or a dismissal after probation or a deferred sentence. RCW 10.97.030(4).

Generally, a person is eligible to have nonconviction data deleted and removed if:

  1. the record became “nonconviction data” after a favorable disposition and at least two years have passed since that time; or
  2. a conviction was not obtained and three or more years have passed since the arrest or date a citation was issued so long as the person is not a fugitive and the case is no longer pending.

Also, the Washington State Patrol identification section has the option to refuse to delete the data if:

  1. The case was resolved through a deferred prosecution or similar diversion;
  2. The person has a prior felony or gross misdemeanor conviction; or
  3. The individual has been arrested or charged with a crime during the intervening period. RCW 10.97.060.

A person may also request that fingerprints or other identifying data be destroyed when making a request to delete nonconviction data under RCW 10.97.060. WAC 446-16-025(4). Fingerprints must be provided with the request for deletion. WAC 446-16-025(3). Typically, an individual can have his or her fingers rolled for prints at any Sheriff’s office for about $55.00. The Sheriff will use the standard fingerprint form (FD-258). The form can then be submitted with the request to delete nonconviction data (if deletion of nonconviction data is to be accomplished utilizing available administrative procedures). Eventually, if the request is consistent with the law, the nonconviction data will be deleted or removed from the person’s criminal history and any fingerprints or identifying data will be destroyed.

If you believe you have satisfied the requirements above and are eligible to have your nonconviction data deleted from your record please contact Platt & Buescher Attorneys at Law at (206) 569-8630 or (360) 678-6777 to speak with an expungement lawyer serving Bellingham, Whatcom County, Mount Vernon, Burlington, Skagit County, NAS Whidbey, Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Island County, Whidbey Island, Camano Island, King County, and Seattle.