General post-incarceration information
The Washington Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest has a Washington Reentry Guide that is a tool to help you get back on your feet after a period of incarceration. The Guide has information on many topics including family law concerns, employment, housing, rights restoration, legal financial obligations, debts, identification documents, healthcare, transportation, outstanding warrants, and work release.
Vacating convictions and clearing criminal records
Many people with a criminal record want to “expunge” or “clear” their criminal histories. While Washington law does not permit the destruction of adult conviction records, some people may be eligible to “vacate” a conviction record.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington's guide, Is My Client Eligible to Vacate an Adult Criminal Conviction?, provides general information about the requirements to vacate.
Civil Survival has information about vacating a misdemeanor conviction and vacating a felony conviction.
If you have a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, a new tool will determine your eligibility to vacate your conviction, provide information about vacating convictions, and offer forms.
Some additional sources of information are:
- The State Court's Guide to Sealing and Destroying Court Records, Vacating Convictions, and Deleting Criminal History Records
- Options to remove criminal history information from Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)
- Getting and Reading Criminal History Reports in Washington from the ACLU of Washington
- Request a Criminal History Report from the Washington State Patrol
Forms and Instructions
- Instructions and forms for vacating misdemeanor records from Washington LawHelp
- Instructions and forms for vacating certain felonies from Washington LawHelp
- Instructions and forms for sealing juvenile court records or an online interview to create the forms from Washington LawHelp
State v. Blake
The Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion in the State v. Blake case in February, 2021, declaring the strict liability drug possession statute unconstitutional.
- More information about the case is available from the Washington State Department of Corrections.
- People on community supervision because of drug possession convictions can petition to have their sentences commuted by Gov. Jay Inslee.
- Information and assistance if you think your conviction was invalid under Blake from the Clark County Indigent Defense office
- Forms and instructions to ask the court to vacate your drug possession conviction and refund LFO payments from Washington LawHelp
Gun rights restoration
The law library sells a Gun Rights Restoration self-help kit with forms and instructions to ask the court to restore firearms rights that were lost due to Washington State convictions. Kits can be purchased at the library or online and mailed out.
The Clark County Sheriff's Office has provided additional information about factors that impact eligibility to restore gun rights.
Voting rights restoration
A new law took effect on January 1, 2022 that automatically restores voting rights to citizens immediately upon their release from prison. It also restored the right to vote to approximately 20,000 residents who are currently on community supervision following release from prison.
- More information about the new law is available from the Washington Voting Rights Restoration Coalition
- Help determining the status of your right to vote if you had a conviction
- Information about registering to vote from Clark County Elections
- Information about felony convictions and voting rights from the Washington Secretary of State
Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP)
A Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity is used after you have served your criminal sentence. It can make it easier to get a job or housing, and can help restore certain occupational licenses.
- An overview about CROPs, including what they can and cannot do and who can qualify for one, from Washington LawHelp
- Instructions and forms to File a Petition for Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity from the court from Washington LawHelp
Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs)
Legal financial obligations, or LFOs, are the fines, fees, costs and restitution imposed by the court on top of a criminal sentence. More information about LFOs can be found at:
- Questions and Answers about Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) from the ACLU of Washington
- Civil Survival has information about reducing legal financial obligations
- Instructions and forms to ask the court to reduce or waive LFOs from the Clark County Superior Court Clerk's Office
- Instructions and forms to Ask a Washington State Court to Reduce or Waive Your Legal Financial Obligations, from Washington LawHelp
Driver's License suspension
If your driver's license was suspended, Washington LawHelp has information that you can use:
- For licenses suspended due to unpaid criminal traffic fines
- What to do if you think your driver's license is suspended
The law library sells an Appeal a Driver's License Suspension self-help kit with forms and instructions to file an appeal to the Superior Court regarding an administrative decision made by the Department of Licensing suspending a driver's license. Kits can be purchased at the library or online and mailed out.