Certification of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP)

Certification of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP)

In 2016, Washington enacted the Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) statute that allows state courts to grants individuals with convictions a Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP). Having a conviction on your record can harm you in many different ways, such as adverse employment decisions and adverse decisions related to housing. A conviction on your record can be especially harmful if your chosen profession requires a professional license. In some cases, certain types of convictions may even bar you from becoming licensed altogether, rather than merely delaying the process. However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel!

A CROP is very helpful because it helps to alleviate many of the negative consequences mentioned above. For instance, many employers and landlords are reluctant to rent to persons with felonies on their record as it may open them up to civil liability. Obtaining a CROP can help reduce or even almost eliminate that risk because your having one protects both employers from suits for negligent hiring and landlords from suits for negligent renting. A CROP can also help eliminate the barriers a person with a conviction has in obtaining a professional license. By obtaining a CROP, state licensing agencies are prohibited from denying you a professional license on the sole basis of your criminal history. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer and RestoreYourRecord devote a substantial amount of our practice to helping those convicted of crimes restore their record and remove the barriers created by a conviction.

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One of the biggest advantages of a CROP is that you are able to obtain some level of relief from your convictions a lot sooner than if you waited to have your conviction expunged or vacated.

 

CROP Vacate
Class A Felony NOT ELIGIBLE NOT ELIGIBLE
Class B Felony Confinement: 2 years from release Probation:2 years from sentencing 10 years from date of completed conditions
Class C Felony Confinement: 2 years from release Probation:2 years from sentencing 5 years from date of completed conditions
Misdemeanor and Gross Misdemeanors Confinement: 18 months from release probation: 1 year from sentencing 3 years from date of completed conditions

 

Additionally, you can also obtain one of these if you are under the age of 18 and regardless of whether your convictions are for juvenile or adult offenses.

The Process for obtaining a CROP requires the following steps:

  1. We will file a petition with the Superior Court on your behalf;
  2. We appear on your behalf at the hearing and we request that the Judge sign the CROP;
  3. Once signed, the Superior Court’s Clerk will sent the CROP to the Washington State Patrol, which is the state repository for all conviction-related matters;
  4. Once the Washington State Patrol receives the CROP, they will notate it in your file.

From then on, anytime an entity, employer, individual, landlord, or licensing agency runs a criminal background check on you, the CROP will show up in your background check.

There are a few limitations to your eligibility to obtain a CROP’s, such as:
  1. You must not have any sex offense convictions;
  2. You must not have any Class A Felonies;
  3. You must not have been convicted of a crime with a special allegation of sexual motivation;
  4. You must have completed all terms of your conviction;
  5. No new arrests, convictions, or pending charges since completion of your sentence.
If you have not finished fully paying off all of the restitution requirements of your sentence, you can still qualify as long as you are up-to-date with your payments.
We will file your petition to be heard in either the county where you live or the county where the conviction occurred. Under the law, if the County where you live is different from the one where the conviction occurred, the court where you reside has discretion to hear the petition or require another court hear the petition.
A CROP does not apply to occupational licenses for Attorneys, Law Enforcement, Firearm dealers, many financial industry occupations, occupations involving vulnerable people, or some healthcare licenses. Even if the CROP does not specifically apply to your occupational license, there is nothing that prohibits it from being used to improve your image when seeking to obtain one of those licenses excluded from CROP’s application.