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What is the difference between a pardon and expungement in Washington?

In seeking out the best plan of action to get rid of my felony charge, I'm wondering what the difference is. Can an attorney get a felony expunged or pardoned for me? Not sure how it works.


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    Craig Andersen | Andersen Law PLLC
    10000 NE 7th Ave Suite 330B
    Vancouver, WA 98685
    (360) 397-0111
    Depending on the type of felony conviction, it is much easier to get a charge vacated and dismissed (expunged) than it is to obtain a pardon. There are a few crimes that cannot be vacated and dismissed in Washington. DUI and DUI-related felonies are not eligible for vacating and dismissal. Kidnapping, Murder, Sex Offences and Serious Violent felonies likewise cannot be vacated or dismissed. In those situations where the conviction is eligible to be vacated and dismissed, it is fairly simple to file a petition with the court where the person was convicted. At the same time, gun rights may also be restored. By contrast, most any crime can be pardoned. However, that is much more difficult to achieve. One must petition the Governor. As a practical matter, governors are fairly reluctant to pardon anyone outside their political circle. Pardons are generally only granted as a governor is leaving office. Consequently, the wait can be long. I have 23 years of experience in the criminal justice system and am very familiar with the laws and procedures governing vacating and dismissing convictions.
    Answer Applies to: Washington - Replied: 2/19/2013
    Edmund P. Allen Jr. | Law Office of Edmund P. Allen Jr.
    705 Second Avenue Suite #910
    Seattle, WA 98104
    (206) 262-0903
    Expungment refers to a police agency destroying arrest records. A pardon is something from the governor. If you have a felony conviction, you may be able to get it "vacated" if certain conditions are met. That is usually the first step to take.
    Answer Applies to: Washington - Replied: 2/19/2013
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