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Arrest record expungement?

Everett, WA |

I live in Washington. Last March, I was arrested for a big misunderstanding and the charges were dismissed. I work as a substitute teacher and would like to find full time work but am worried about the arrest showing up when they run my background check. This is keeping me from applying for jobs. So I have a couple of questions.

What do OSPI & school districts see when they run a background check through WSP? Will they see the arrest or do they only see conviction data?

Is there anyway to expunge an arrest record when charges were dismissed prior to the two year waiting period? If so, how?

I am trying to figure out if I need to hire a lawyer or not, and if there is any chance of having this taken care soon.

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Attorney answers 1


OSPI and school districts will have records from the Washington State Patrol. You can go to the WSP office and request to inspect your own record. Or, for $10, you can also go to the WSP website and order a “WATCH” transcript (Washington Access to Criminal History), which will allow you to view and print everything on your record in this state.

Although your charge was dismissed, it will still show up on Washington State Patrol records. Unfortunately, you do have to wait for the statutory requirement of two years to elapse before you can petition to have your non-conviction law enforcement records deleted. You may find additional helpful information at the following website:

Washington statutes regarding dissemination of criminal records and conditions for deletion of non-conviction records can be found on the Washington Courts website:

RCW 10.97.060
Deletion of certain information, conditions.
RCW 10.97.050
Restricted, unrestricted information – Records.

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