Criminal Law

News & Updates

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington has updated their information on the restoration of voting rights for those that have been convicted of felonies as an adult. The page includes answers to many important questions such as:

  • How do convictions affect my right to vote?
  • How do I know when I’m eligible to have my rights restored?
  • Do I need to re-register to vote?
  • Who should I contact if I run into difficulty?

The Washington State chapter of the ACLU has posted a link to a new web application called Criminal Conviction:  Can I Vote? that will help people with past criminal convictions determine if they have the right to vote. The application uses a short series of questions—none of which ask for personal information – to help determine the user’s situation and directs them accordingly.

Re-Entry Clinic

  • Appointments are held over the phone or as-needed in the offices of Columbia Legal Services.  To schedule an appointment, send an email to
  • The Reentry Clinic provides free legal services to low-income men and women with criminal records facing barriers to successful reentry. The clinic focuses on legal issues related to legal financial obligations (fees, fines and restitution) and access to employment and housing.
  • Sponsored by Columbia Legal Services

Innocence Project Northwest

  • Contact:
  • The Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) Clinic selects cases based on a number of factors. To submit a case for consideration, a prisoner must first fill out an application and mail it to the IPNW Clinic.  Applications are available online:
  • In order to qualify for representation, a prisoner must:
    • Be wrongly convicted of crimes in Washington;
    • Be unable to afford counsel;
    • No longer have the right to appointed counsel;
    • Have completed the direct appeals process;
    • Have at least three years of prison time remaining to be served;
    • Have a claim of actual innocence that can be proven through DNA testing or other newly discovered evidence; and
    • Have no involvement in the crime whatsoever (The IPNW Clinic will not take cases in which the prisoner claims an affirmative defense such as self-defense, insanity or accidental death, or cases in which the prisoner seeks a reduction of his or her sentence).

Columbia Legal Services Institutions Project

  • Contact:
    • Address: 101 Yesler Way, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104
    • Phone:
      • (800) 542-0794 
      • (206) 382-3399 (Collect)
      • (206) 464-1518 (TDD)
  • The Institutions Project works in Washington to create a safer and stronger society by reducing over-reliance on confinement, ensuring just and humane treatment for people who are institutionalized, and supporting successful transitions back to our communities.

Other Resources

  • US Department of Justice – Special Litigation Section,
    • Contact:
      • Phone: (202) 514-6255 or toll-free at (877) 218-5228
      • Email:
  • Criminal Legal Helpline – ask for attorney of the day (206) 477-8700
  • Crime Victims Compensation (800) 762-3716
  • Families & Friends of Violent Crime Victims (800) 346-7555
  • Innocence Project – UW 2-1-1
  • King County Prosecutor (206) 296-9000
  • King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (888) 99-VOICE
  • Re-Entry Clinic (206) 287-8625
  • Public Defense
  • Defender Association (206) 447-3900
  • Federal Public Defender (206) 553-1100
  • King County Department of Public Health (206) 296-7662
  • Victim Assistance Unit (800) 346-7555
  • Western District of Washington Prisoner Litigation Guide,
  • King County Jail Inmate Service Lookup (JILS)
  • The Adult Sentencing Guidelines Manual provides comprehensive information for criminal justice practitioners, public officials and citizens on adult felony sentencing in the state of Washington.
    • This manual offers specific guidance on how to determine the appropriate standard sentence range for an offense by identifying the seriousness level of the offense and by “scoring” the offender’s criminal history. This manual lists and describes all of the sentencing options currently provided for by statute. And the manual addresses; reviews, modifications, discharges of sentences, as well as vacating conviction records.
    • As an aid to judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and other criminal justice professionals, this manual also includes forms for use in “scoring” an offender’s criminal history.
    • For updates to this manual, visit the website of the Caseload Forecast Council, which assumed responsibility for the Manual when the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission was eliminated as an independent agency in 2011.

Find Criminal Records Forms Here

Links Updated August 2021.