There are two major methods in which a person can have the penalties or the record of a criminal charge modified. In some situations, a person convicted of a crime may be pardoned by the state governor or United States president in order to reduce or remove their punishment. In other cases, a person can go before the court and request that a charge be expunged from his or her record, removing it altogether.
There are very specific parameters under which a person can file for expungement. To discuss your options under these rules, contact the Seattle DUI lawyers of Cowan Kirk Gaston today by calling 1-866-822-1230.
Pardons vs. Expungement
Pardoning and expungement may be confused as being the same thing, but these are legally distinct actions. In the state of Washington, expungement is more commonly known as vacating a judgment. This means that the crime found on the convicted individual's record is removed, as if the charges were pressed and but the verdict reached was not guilty.
Consider the following important differences between pardoning and expungement:
- Pardons are granted by the executive branch of government
- Expungement is granted by the judicial branch of government
- Pardons remove or decrease penalties
- Expungement clears a charge from a criminal record
- Pardons may cover any charge
- Expungement only covers certain types of misdemeanors
For many, expungement can be a legitimate option to clear DUI convictions that can ruin professional opportunities. Pardons, on the other hand, are significantly less common and do not clear that charge from a permanent record.
For more information regarding your options for expungement, contact the Seattle DUI attorneys of Cowan Kirk Gaston at 1-866-822-1230. Let our knowledgeable advisers assist you with your legal concerns today.