A non-profit organization launched a new website Wednesday that is designed to help people remove some crimes off their record.
Clearviction is a civic-tech open-source project that aims to make the conviction vacation process easier for Washingtonians applying for jobs, housing and schools that require background checks.
The New Hope Act, which passed unanimously under 2019 Washington Legislature, modified the process for vacating conviction records, giving more people in the state the ability to remove convictions from their records. However, the current process is difficult, time-consuming and expensive, especially if an applicant feels the need to hire an attorney to simplify the process, according to the organization's website.
Clearviction's mission is to change that.
The process begins with an eligibility calculator. It's a free tool that starts with a 10-minute questionnaire; once a user completes a series of yes-or-no questions, the calculator will determine if the user is eligible and step-by-step instructions to vacating a conviction will be provided. Users who have multiple convictions will have to go through the process for each one.
Before a user begins the process, they will need to know:
- The date and violation of the misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor conviction.
- If and when the terms of the sentence have been completed.
- Pending charges and/or new convictions.
- Any court orders against the user.
As for the court orders, those include Domestic violence protection orders, no-contact orders, anti-harassment orders and civil restraining orders.
If a user does not know what exactly is on their criminal record, they can request a criminal history report through Washington State Patrol's website here.