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How to get a wrongful criminal conviction overturned in King County Superior Court?

Everett, WA |

I was convicted in July of 2006, for a crime I did not commit. I am interested in finding Legal Representation that could help me get this overturned. I was represented by a PD at the time and was made aware by several lawyers that became familiar with my case that there was a Conflict of Interest at the time of my trial. I was never given the opportunity to speak on my own behalf at a Bench Trial that took place with Honorable Judge, Michael Fox of King County Superior Court prior to going to trail. Prosecuting Attorneys office was hell bent on getting a conviction and my PD was absolutely against me taking this to trial. He wanted me to plead "Guilty"

I am now at point in my life where I can move forward with trying to get this overturned.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Attorney answers 3


You have missed the 1-year deadline, starting with the sentencing date, for trying to overturn a guilty plea. That 1-year deadline can be extended under extraordinary circumstances which are rare, and your question does not disclose anything which would give hope for extension. However, some gross misdemeanor convictions can be vacated after a waiting period of 3 years or 5 years (RCW 9.96.060), and some felonies can be vacated after a waiting period of 5 years or 10 years (RCW 9.94A.640). Links to those sections are attached. It is possible to do it yourself with some forms (link is attached), but the process is more complicated than the forms suggest. Some deferred sentences can be dismissed after a shorter period. If a conviction is vacated and dismissed, it does not get erased from history. Many government and private data bases have already captured it, so the case will be findable online. Getting the court record sealed used to be straightforward, but in recent years it has become almost impossible. Having a conviction vacated does not restore firearm rights, in case you were wondering. Firearm restoration is more complex, and impossible for some convictions. Besides vacating a conviction, there are some things you can do to soften the consequences of a conviction, but there will always be some remnant of the conviction to contend with.

This answer is intended as a courtesy only, and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the attorney and the questioner.


I agree with Mr. Stimmel except that newly discovered evidence could provide a basis forwhat is called a Personal Restraint Petition to try and get your case reviewed. I've heard of PRPs being considered after a year from sentence under the theory that the conviction itself continues to "punish" you.

My colleague has offered some options which are more practical. You would need expensive representation to maka decent argument forva hearing and Motion to "overturn a wrongful conviction 6+ years after sentence.
Although it would likely not have changed your outcome, you had an absolute right to testify at your trial and to maked a statement at sentencing. It is the defendant's decision, regardless of his lawyer's advice.

I am licensed in Washington. I only practice law in this state. I limit my practice, and my answers on this site, to criminal matters in Washington state, and local questions from the courts north of Seattle where I practice. Any advice is provided for informational purposes, and does not form an attorney-client relationship. Any answers provided by lawyers not licensed to practice law in Washington, purporting to answer questions of Washington state law or the practice of the courts of this state, are probably either too general to be helpful, or unethical under Rules of Professional Conduct in this state. Please contact a local, experienced criminal defense lawyer practicing in the community where your question arises.


In general, you are facing an uphill battle. There is a strong presumption that a guilty verdict (even by a judge) is valid.
There are some exceptions to the 30-day appeal deadline and the one-year collateral attack deadline from RCW 10.73.090. An attorney would need a lot more information to determine if you have any chance of meeting any of the exceptions. Feel free to contact me directly at, or seek out any number of criminal appellate attorneys to discuss the details.

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