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  • Seattle Office

    Address

    1001 4th Avenue
    Suite 4050
    Seattle, Washington 98154

    Phone

    206-397-3102

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Ratings & Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0

    After meeting with several prospective attorneys, I chose Jeff Kradel to represent me in my criminal case. Jeff was knowledgeable, communicative, confident, and extremely familiar with the Snohomish County court system where my case was bei...
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    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    Jeffrey Kradel helped me with a possession charge in which he was able to get all charges completely dropped in a matter of weeks. He was always available to answer any of my questions, in fact, I never went more than 24 hrs without a respo...
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    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    Jeffrey Kradel helped me navigate a very scary and often confusing legal system experience with compassion, guidance, and a great knowledge of the law. I appreciated his passion for his legal practice, and the sense of humor and humanity h...
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    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    Mr. Kradel represented me in a legal matter in which he was sucessful in dismissing. He was easily accessable, honest and fair in his dealings. I would highly recomend him if you are in the mist of a legal dealing.

    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    I'll never forget seeing Jeffrey Kradel show up for me after my first night in jail. It sounds like embellishment, but my goodness never have I been so glad to see a complete stranger. He was immediately able to ascertain the sensitivity ...
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    — Client

Deferred Sentences in Washington

A deferred sentence is a type of sentence where upon completion of the terms (fine, community service, restitution, etc.) and the expiration of a certain time period, the charge is dismissed. The procedural steps are that the guilty plea is withdrawn, a plea of not guilty is entered, and the charge is dismissed. Even after that dismissal, however, the case is still considered "conviction data" under Washington law. Below is a relatively detailed description of the statutory provisions at work. The bottom line is that while the charge is dismissed, the record of conviction still exists in some form or another.

Criminal History: What is It?

"Criminal history record information" means:

[I]nformation contained in records collected by criminal justice agencies, other than courts, on individuals, consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions,indictments, informations, or other formal criminal charges, and any disposition arising therefrom, including acquittals by reason of insanity, dismissals based on lack of competency, sentences, correctional supervision, and release. The term includes information contained in records maintained by or obtained from criminal justice agencies, other than courts, which records provide individual identification of a person together with any portion of the individual's record of involvement in the criminal justice system as an alleged or convicted offender, except

(a) Posters, announcements, or lists for

identifying or apprehending fugitives or wanted persons;

(b) Original records of entry maintained by criminal justice agencies to the extent that such records are compiled and maintained chronologically and are accessible only on a chronological basis;

(c) Court indices and records of public judicial proceedings, court decisions, and opinions, and information disclosed during public judicial proceedings;

(d) Records of traffic violations which are not punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than ninety days;

(e) Records of any traffic offenses as maintained by the department of licensing for the purpose of regulating the issuance, suspension, revocation, or renewal of drivers' or other operators'

licenses and pursuant to RCW 46.52.130;

(f) Records of any aviation violations or offenses as maintained by the department of transportation for the purpose of regulating pilots or other aviation operators, and pursuant to RCW47.68.330;

(g) Announcements of executive clemency.

RCW 10.97.030(1). Criminal history information thus does not have to

originate from a court of law, and does not have to involve a conviction for

a charged offense.

Any "criminal justice agency" can be the source of data regarding

criminal history. So what is a "criminal justice agency"? WAC 446-20-050

provides:

(1) The following agencies shall be considered criminal justice agencies for the purpose of chapter 10.97 RCW and these regulations.

(a) The Washington state patrol, including the state identification section;

(b) Foreign, federal, state, and local governmental law enforcement agencies;

(c) The adult corrections division of the department of social and health services or the department of corrections as specified in chapter 72.02 RCW, including institutions as specified in chapter 72.01 RCW and probation and parole services as specified in chapter 72.04A RCW;

(d) The board of prison terms and paroles;

(e) Courts at any level, if they exercise criminal jurisdiction, for the administration of criminal justice.

(2) Only that subunit of the following agencies which

detects, prosecutes, or that work under the direction of the courts shall be considered criminal justice agencies for the purpose of chapter 10.97 RCW

and these regulations:

(a) Federal state and local prosecutorial, correctional programs, agencies or departments;

(b) The liquor control board as specified in RCW 66.44.010 (enforcement division);

(c) The department of labor and industries as specified in chapter 7.68A RCW (victims of crime

compensation);

(d) The state fire marshal as specified in RCW 48.48.060(2);

(e) An agency or portion thereof that has been certified as a criminal justice agency pursuant to WAC 446-20-060.

The two statutory provisions cited above provide generally what information is gathered and who gathers it. This leads to the real question at issue in dealing with the issue of privacy: Who can get to the information and what information can they get?

Having A "Conviction Record" Does Not Require a Conviction

By the plain language of the Privacy Act "conviction records can be

disseminated without restriction." RCW 10.97.050(1). In Washington, a

"conviction record" does not always mean the subject was found guilty. RCW

10.97.030(3) provides:

"Conviction record" means criminal history record information relating to an incident which has led to a conviction or other disposition adverse to the subject. (Italics added). RCW 10.97.030(3).

While the nature of a criminal conviction is fairly straightforward - the subject was charged with a crime and found guilty, either by plea of guilty or after a trial to a judge or jury - it is not so

obvious what might be meant by a "disposition adverse to the subject." The definition within the Privacy Act provides some guidance: "Conviction or other disposition adverse to the subject"

means any disposition of charges other than: (a) a decision not to prosecute; (b) a dismissal; or (c) an acquittal; with the following exceptions, which shall be considered dispositions adverse to the subject: An acquittal due to a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity and a dismissal by reason of incompetency, pursuant to 10.77 RCW; and a dismissal entered after a period of probation, suspension, or deferral of sentence. RCW 10.97.030(4).

This definition is critical because it is the central tool used in determining what level of privacy is afforded to the record.1 It is not a crystal clear definition, however, and it is dependent upon

different agencies and individuals for it to function as intended, leaving much room for error.

RCW 43.43.735(1) requires law enforcement to photograph and fingerprint "all adults and juveniles arrested for the commission of any criminal offense constituting a felony or gross misdemeanor." RCW 43.43.745(3) then provides:

Disposition of the charge for which the arrest was made shall be reported to the [State Patrol Identification] section at whatever stage in the proceedings a final disposition occurs by the arresting law enforcement agency, county prosecutor, city attorney, or court having jurisdiction over the offense. RCW 43.43.745(3).

The State Patrol promulgates rules for the implementation of this statute. Those rules can be found in WAC 446-16. If everyone follows those rules - i.e. the prosecuting attorney makes a report to the State Patrol when it is determined not to file a criminal charge - then the

"conviction record" definition can function as intended. If however, any criminal justice agency bureaucracy fails in its administrative duty, then a record may be in limbo and end up being treated by the State Patrol asconviction data. This is because the definition in 10.97.030(4) treats all dispositions as "adverse to the subject" unless it meets one of those other standards - acquittal; dismissal, or a decision not to prosecute - listed in the statute. Given the volume of cases handled by the police, courts, and prosecutors, it seems almost a foregone conclusion that mistakes will be made, and what should otherwise be treated as "nonconviction data" is instead available for dissemination. The same problem can arise with other parts of the "conviction record" definition.

RCW 10.97.030(4) specifically provides that "a dismissal entered after a period of probation, suspension, or deferral of sentence" shall be considered a "disposition adverse to the subject" and thus constitutes conviction data.