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.