Even if the case was dismissed, there will still be some record that exists in the court computer system and in the law enforcement agency system. It is possible to get a record of "non-conviction data" removed from those systems, but you have to wait two years to make the request to get that data cleared. I have never understood why Washington requires the two-year wait period, but that is the law for now. As other answers have made clear, it is very difficult to make a record completely disappear. There is a good chance that some information will float around out there forever. However, the fact that the charge was dropped is always in your favor.
That depends on what you mean by rap sheet. It will not show up as a criminal conviction on a background check. It will show up as a charge that was filed and dismissed on your the defendants case history , which is maintained by the Washington courts. You can petition to have that information removed 2 years after the date it was dismissed.
Law Office of Scott Lawrence
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Once you have it vacated then legally you can say that you never got that case. The problem is that in today's world of computers if someone wants to find it they can. Always be up front and honest in all your discussions with potential employers and you will be fine.