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Last updated: 2024-04-12

Why vacate your conviction in Washington State?

Vacating a conviction in Washington is complicated and intimidating but doing so opens opportunities in employment, housing, and education.

Explore the benefits of vacating your conviction and get resources to help you along the way.

Convictions and Job Barriers

A conviction does not prevent you from having a job, but roadblocks can pop up depending on the job or the employer. It is important to not lose hope while facing challenges such as:
Long periods of unemployment

Getting back into society may take longer with a conviction on record.

Rejected applications

This is a common circumstance for people who have previously been convicted.

Lack of experience

Getting a job in a new field is complicated by lack of access to educational opportunities.


Convictions and Housing Challenges

A background check is an obstacle for people with a conviction and it can prevent access to certain opportunities. Here are the main challenges background checks present to those seeking housing:
Public Housing Authorities
  • Income capped
  • Can't be a registered offender
  • PHAs have discretion on who they decide to house
Private Housing
  • Landlords have full discretion, and often deny people with criminal records
  • Management companies usually have extensive background checks
Supportive Housing
  • Funded by HUD homelessness programs
  • Must have been residing in emergency shelter/housing in the previous 90 days
Transitional Housing
  • Might require you to have substance abuse, mental health or physical issues
  • Some require you to attend special meetings or work


Convictions and Education Barriers

With a conviction on your record, you might face some barriers when it comes to getting opportunities where a background check is performed. Here are the main educational challenges faced by those with convictions:
Occupational Licenses

Some states' laws contain an automatic disqualification prohibiting a person with a felony conviction from obtaining an occupational license, regardless of the offense.

College Acceptance

Colleges run background checks on applicants. Whether you will be accepted depends on the kind of check they do and the type and time of crime.