How Do I Know If I Was Convicted Of A Crime?

This is an important question, because only criminal convictions can be vacated. Here is how a case generally proceeds from beginning to end:

  • Police take a report (record witness statements, names, contact information, and list facts).
  • Police send the report to prosecutors.
  • Prosecutors review the report and file charges (sometimes months later).
  • The defendant goes to arraignment and pleads not guilty of the crime.

The case resolves as follows:

  • Guilty plea – Newton/Alford pleas, etc.
  • Guilty plea with deferred sentence
  • Guilty verdict following trial
  • Guilty finding following deferred prosecution
  • Guilty finding following failed drug court
  • Dismissal – on motion, following deferred, following SOC, etc.

Even though a sentence was dismissed, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) might still record the outcome as a conviction. For instance, even if the case was dismissed following a deferred sentence, your criminal history will still show as a conviction. Most dismissals are not counted as a conviction but are still public information provided by the WSP and the court where your case was heard.