Actual DUI convictions in Washington State cannot be vacated. Remember a conviction is the final court resolution. So if you were accused of DUI, but the final court resolution was an amendment to something like Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving, then you may be eligible to have the conviction for that amendment vacated. Generally, there is a 10 year waiting period from the date of the DUI charge, you can’t have any pending criminal charges and you must have been crime free for the immediate three years prior to your petition to vacate.
Let’s say you were arrested for a DUI on September 30, 2009. After months of investigation and legal battling your attorney was successful convincing the prosecutor to amend the original DUI charge to Reckless Driving. After discussing the consequences of this plea arrangement you pled guilty to Reckless Driving on February 6, 2010. During sentencing the judge ordered 2 years of probation and $2,000 in fines and court costs and fees. Over the next two years you successfully completed probation, including attending alcohol classes, not committing any new criminal law violations and paying all fines and court costs.
In this example you could vacate this Reckless Driving conviction on or after September 30, 2019, which is 10 years after the original DUI charge. This assumes you have not been convicted of another crime in the three years prior to the petition to vacate and you don’t have any pending charges at the time of your petition to vacate. In this situation you can use the date of conviction to start the 10 year waiting period instead of the date you completed all sentence requirements including legal financial obligations.
It seems like the laws on vacating charges are updated every year. If you think you may be eligible to vacate an old conviction, contact Cooney Law Offices today.