State Laws

Washington Felony

     

Classes of felonies
In the state of Washington, there are three different classes of felonies. The first is a Class A felony which can carry with it life in prison and a $50,000 fine. The next is a Class B felony, this felony carries with it a penalty of ten years in prison, maximum and a $20,000 fine. The last is a Class C felony which has a five year maximum prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. In general, a felony will carry with it a minimum one year prison sentence. Felonies are typically much larger crimes then misdemeanors, which is why they have a longer prison sentence and larger fines associated with them.

Maximum punishment
The maximum punishment will depend on which class the felony falls into, A, B or C. The maximum term in prison with a Class A felony is life in prison, but the most severe punishment is the death penalty. Criminals who commit first degree murder and aggravated murder can be sentenced to death penalty and/or life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Fines and prison time
Fines associated with felonies in Washington state will once again depend on the class of the felon. The maximum fine is $50,000 for Class A felony, while the Class C felony only reaches $10,000. The minimum prison sentence for a felony in Washington state is one year, with the maximum being life.

Are they expungable?
Felonies in Washington can only be expunged if the person meets a certain criteria. Washington calls expungement Vacating the Criminal Conviction. They are used as the same term, with vacating being the legal term used in Washington.

The process of vacating the record is different between misdemeanors and felonies, but everyone must meet the same criteria. First, the proper amount of time needs to have passed. For felonies this time starts when the Certificate of Discharge is filed with the state.

Certain convictions can not be expunged, and these include Class A felonies and sex and violent crimes. Second, you must meet the clean behavior requirement. Your felony will not be expunged if you commit another crime after the Certificate of Discharge is filed. Third, you must have a judge sign off on the vacancy or expungement. Finally, you will need to appear in court for a vacancy hearing unless you have an attorney who will appear for you.

Public record
In Washington, if you go through the process of Vacating the Criminal Conviction, your record will be cleared. The public database will no longer show a felony conviction on your record. The clerk at the court should also send paperwork to the FBI and the police department so your record can be cleared in their files as well. Once this takes place, your record is completely cleared and your conviction will no longer show up on your public records.

While this may seem like a lengthy and time consuming process, it is the only way to clear your felony conviction.

See also:
Washington Gun Laws
Washington Divorce
Washington Bankruptcy Laws
Washington Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Washington Expungement External link (opens in new window)