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Seattle, WA 98104

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If you have been accused of a crime in Seattle, contact a criminal defense lawyer with a proven track record.

Robert Flennaugh, II
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Seattle Criminal Attorney

Home > Practice Areas > The effect of a criminal conviction

Attorney Representation in Seattle, Wa for over 10 years

The effect of a criminal conviction

The effect of a criminal conviction can have an enduring, deleterious effect upon your long term goals in life. You may be passed up for employment opportunities that would allow you to realize your full potential. You may be denied bank loans to buy a home or to get started on a new business. You may be denied housing when you go to rent an apartment. In some cases you may be denied the ability to participate with your children in school activities like class trips or outings.  Student loans and certain types of welfare assistance may be unavailable to you. You may not be permitted to legally possess a firearm, to hold public office or in some cases, to vote in a civic election.

If you find yourself hampered in life by the presence of a blemished record there is no need for despair. The State of Washington has several laws that provide a convicted individual the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin afresh. These laws are complicated in their application to a specific individual case and recourse to a professional Washington criminal defense attorney is your best bet to determine the most productive approach to this process. We at The Law Offices of Robert Flennaugh II, PLLC stand ready, willing and able to guide you through this judicial labyrinth. We have assisted countless clients in having their arrest record or conviction expunged, vacated or sealed and we can bring that same measure of relief to you or your loved one. And we always offer free consultations. Our skilled Washington criminal defense attorney team enjoys a well earned reputation for providing the kind of personalized attention that each client deserves and we will gladly discuss your past record with an eye toward restoring your rights, your privileges and your good name. We will objectively evaluate your the circumstances that gave rise to your record, provide an honest opinion about the likelihood of success in having it mitigated, and guide you through the process in order to achieve that success.

Expungement may be available to you if you were arrested but never formally charged with a crime or if your case was dismissed without having gone to trial. A period of two years is tolled from the time of the arrest until you may initiate the process of expunging the arrest report. This process may be done by administratively requesting such of the law enforcement agency in possession of the record or by petitioning the courts for a direct order mandating of the agency that the record be expunged. Either way our skilled Washington criminal defense attorneys can handle these matters on your behalf.

Vacating a conviction may be an option for those who were convicted of a crime, have fulfilled all the terms of the sentence and have maintained a clear record for a period of time specified by the statutes. The waiting period involved here depends upon the severity of the crime involved and can vary from three years for a misdemeanor, five years for a class C felony, to ten years for a class B felony. There are however certain categories of crimes that are not amenable by statute to mitigation through the vacation process. These include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, class A felonies and crimes of violence. A further restriction finds itself in that the generosity of the State toward adults is limited to only one cleared crime in his/her lifetime. Much more latitude is granted to juveniles however, who may have several youthful mistakes cleared from their records.

Having a court record sealed is the most difficult and time consuming of these mitigation processes. This benefit is extended solely at the considered discretion of the courts. A number of factors must be taken into consideration with respect to the judge's decision. A person's right to privacy and the effect upon his individual life must be carefully balanced with the interest the public has in open court procedures and the right of public access to governmental records.  The guidelines for such considerations are vested in the common law and some specific statutes that place limitations on the degree of latitude a  judge may exercise in such matters. Our reputation at The Law Offices of Robert Flennaugh II, PLLC as a premier legal firm, our consummate knowledge of existing statutes and our highly refined rhetorical skills as Washington criminal defense attorneys in arguing in favor of our client's best interests have continuously assured a favorable outcome for those clients who have retained us to act on their behalf in having sensitive court records sealed. We can and will do the same for you.

Expunction, vacation of conviction and sealing of past records are all practical means to improve the quality of your life by enabling  you to put the past behind you and move beyond past mistakes and on to achieve a more productive and fulfilling life, a life unencumbered by the stifling millstone of a blemished history. For all the vast difference it has made in their lives, many of our past clients are no less grateful to us for relieving them of this legal burden than some medical patients are to their physicians for the removal of a painful tumor. We at The Law Offices of Robert Flennaugh II, PLLC are dedicated professionals who pride ourselves in our ability to make such a difference in the lives of our valued clients. It is our honor to serve you in this capacity and we look forward to advancing your cause. We have done so for countless individuals like yourself before and can do the same for you. Please feel free to call our skilled Washington criminal defense attorney team to set up your free initial consultation that we may evaluate your case and apprise you of your very best options. Call us now at 866-373-0523. You have nothing to lose and a lifetime of freedom and prosperity to gain.