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File #: 2018-0412    Version:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 9/4/2018 In control: Law and Justice Committee
On agenda: Final action: 9/24/2018
Enactment date: 10/3/2018 Enactment #: 18800
Title: AN ORDINANCE authorizing the department of public defense to provide indigent individuals counsel for the purpose of clearing criminal records; and amending Ordinance 383, Section 2, as amended, and K.C.C. 2.06.020.
Sponsors: Larry Gossett, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Rod Dembowski
Indexes: Public Defense
Code sections: 2.06.020 - .
Attachments: 1. Ordinance 18800.pdf, 2. 2018-0412_SR_DPD_record_clearing.docx, 3. 2018-0412-ATT1-ProposedOrdinance.pdf, 4. 2018-0412_ATT2_RCW 9.94A.640.docx, 5. 2018-0412_ATT3_RCW9.96.060.docx, 6. 18800 amendment package 9-24-18.pdf
Staff: Giambattista, Jenny
Title
AN ORDINANCE authorizing the department of public defense to provide indigent individuals counsel for the purpose of clearing criminal records; and amending Ordinance 383, Section 2, as amended, and K.C.C. 2.06.020.
Body
STATEMENT OF FACTS:
1. In 2017 the King County department of public defense served more than 15,000 individuals.
2. Of those cases almost 6,700 were for felony cases, 5,000 cases were involuntary treatment act cases and 4,500 were for misdemeanor cases.
3. In addition, the department of public defense provide numerous other services through specialty courts and other services.
4. The individuals served by the department of public defense are disproportionately persons of color who are impacted by institutional bias throughout the criminal justice system.
5. A criminal record has severe impact on individuals' lives that can extend far beyond the case itself and any associated sentencing period.
6. Washington state law allows for criminal convictions to be vacated in limited circumstances.
7. For individuals with arrest records, but not convictions, the expungement process in RCW 10.97.060 allows in limited circumstances, nonconviction data to be removed by the Washington State Patrol.
8. A request to vacate a record is discretionary, meaning a judge does not have to grant it, even if a person otherwise qualifies under state law.
9. If a request to vacate a conviction is granted, the effect is that the charges are dismissed. While the record of the case is not deleted, RCW 9.94A.640 allows an offender whose conviction has been vacated to legally say they have not been convicted of the offense and they would not need to disclose it as a conviction on future applications.
10. While clearing criminal records cannot change the historical disadvantages persons of color face in the criminal justice system, it can help to reduce barriers going forward.
11. This ordinance provides legal counsel to indigent people who face criminal convi...

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