The Ballestero Blog

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Two Ways To Remove Your Past

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There Are Two Ways To Remove Your Past, Man’s Way And God’s Way.

The laws of man have provided a way for the guilty to get their past sealed or expunged. I was in the Federal Building in Tacoma today and saw a very nice pamphlet that described to the general public how to expunge their criminal record.

Reading that made me look further. Online I found a great website that describes the process in detail for the residents of Washington. I am glad that this is available for those that wish to turn their lives around.


Expungement of Criminal Records in Washington State -7 Steps to Clearing Your Record

You don’t have to be stuck with a criminal conviction on your record.  Your Washington State criminal conviction can be expunged if you meet the criteria.  And after your conviction is expunged, Washington State law permits you to state you have not been convicted for employment purposes.

Expungement is an often misunderstood term and process.  In Washington State expungement of a criminal record or criminal conviction is accomplished by Vacating the Criminal Conviction.  The terms Expungement and Vacating are largely interchangeable, the difference being that Vacating is the legal term.

Expungement of a criminal record by vacating the conviction does not destroy or seal the file.  However, it is possible to destroy, or expunge, an arrest record if the eligibility requirements are met.  When an arrest record is expunged, the booking photos and fingerprints are destroyed and removed from the police record.

In Washington State, the expungement process differs between felony and misdemeanor convictions.  The following 7 steps are an overview of what is involved.

1.  The Required Time Period has Passed Since the Case Completed.

The first eligibility requirement to expunge your conviction in Washington State is passage of the required time period.  For a misdemeanor, the time period begins to run on the date the case is Closed.  For a felony conviction, the time period begins to run on the date a document called a Certificate of Discharge is filed with the court.  In both instances, a case is Closed or a Certificate of Discharge is filed after all the sentence conditions are completed as required.

2.  The Conviction is Eligible for Expungement.

Certain convictions, and classifications of convictions, are not eligible for Expungement in Washington State.  Generally, class A felonies (the most serious), sex crimes, and violent crimes cannot be expunged in Washington State.  Among misdemeanors, Washington State does not permit a DUI conviction to be expunged.

3.  You Meet the Clean Behavior Requirement.

Two situations will make your conviction ineligible for expungement.  For a misdemeanor, if you were convicted of another crime on a later date then you would not be eligible to have the misdemeanor expunged.  For example, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor in 1995, and another crime in 1997, then the 1995 crime would not be eligible to be expunged.  For a felony, if you were convicted of another crime after the date the Certificate of Discharge was filed then you cannot expunge the felony.

4.  Special Rule for Misdemeanors.

Washington State has an interesting rule that applies only to misdemeanor convictions.  To expunge a misdemeanor, you cannot have had any other conviction expunged (vacated).  What this means is if a person has a felony conviction and a misdemeanor conviction, and the person expunged the felony conviction first, then the misdemeanor could no longer be expunged.  However, if the misdemeanor was expunged first, and if the misdemeanor conviction occurred before the felony conviction, then the felony could still be expunged.

5.  Preparation.

An expungement, or vacation of a criminal conviction, requires a judge to sign a court Order.  The court process is begun by filing a Motion to Vacate Conviction with the court.  Prior to filing the Motion, you should get copies of the Docket and the Judgment & Sentence from the court clerk.  You should also obtain a criminal history report, called a WATCH Report, from the Washington State Patrol website.

6.  Your Day In Court.

Most Washington State courts require a hearing to Expunge, or Vacate, a criminal conviction.  Most courts do not require you to attend if you have a lawyer appearing at the hearing on your behalf.  If the preparation has been done properly, then the hearing should go very smoothly and the judge will sign the Court Order Vacating your criminal conviction.

7.  Your Criminal Record is Cleared.

The court clerk processes the Order and sends a certified copy to the Washington State Patrol, which removes the conviction from the public database.  The FBI record is updated based on the Washington State record.  And, if the Order was prepared correctly, a copy will also be sent to the police department that handled the case and your record will also be cleared in their file.  Your conviction has now been expunged (vacated), and your criminal record is cleared.

As you can see, you don’t have to be stuck with a criminal conviction on your record.  It is not difficult to expunge a conviction in Washington State if you meet the straightforward criteria.  In most cases, these 7 steps take only a few weeks to complete.

Copyright ©2008 Douglas Stratemeyer.  All Rights reserved.
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He can do it in one day. Once you have repented of your sins and been baptized in Jesus name according to Acts 2:38.

Your Sins Are Then:

1. Covered By His Blood.

Rom. 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

2. Forgiven Immediately

Col. 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

3. Blotted Out

Col. 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

4. Removed

Psa. 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

5. He Forgives All Sins.

Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

Matt. 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:

6. Your Sins Will Be Washed Away In Baptism In Jesus Name.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

7. If You Sin, He Will Even Be Your Defense Attorney.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:


We All Are Invited To Take Advantage Of This Immediately.

Heb. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Heb. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Do It Today!

Sinner! Backslider! I don’t care what you’ve done, where you’ve gone or how low you have fallen, God’s Mercy is available for you today. He’s waiting for you to make that move. Get your sins forgiven and washed away now.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

5 Responses

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  1. I might borrow this nugget to preach from. Thanks.

    Steve Epley

    February 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

  2. Exstensive on the State’s part ——
    but, Short and Sweet on the Lords part.

    Howard Davis

    February 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

  3. Elder Ballestero,
    Thank you and your wife for your excellent posts. I’ve really been enjoying your sermons on Holy Ghost Radio. Sorry to have just missed you in Bako. Brother Alan and I would have driven there to see you. Hope you come to Fresno some time.


    February 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

  4. Man makes it so much more difficult than God does. We have this long list…God just speaks a word or 2 and says “I forgive!” I remember going to a church one time for a few years and noticing that not ONE time was the Blood ever preached. Thanks for this. Beeeeeuuuutiful!


    February 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

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