Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Public Safety Committee

SSB 5272

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Vacating convictions arising from offenses committed as a result of being a victim of trafficking, promoting prostitution, or promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Law & Justice (originally sponsored by Senators Saldaña, Hasegawa, Ranker, Chase, Hunt, Darneille, Wellman, Keiser, Cleveland, Takko and Kuderer).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Allows a qualifying victim to vacate a Prostitution conviction even if he or she has committed other crimes since the date of conviction, as long as those crimes were the result of being a victim of a trafficking or a prostitution-related offense.

Hearing Date: 3/9/17

Staff: Kelly Leonard (786-7147).


Vacating a Conviction. In certain circumstances authorized in statute, a person's record of conviction may be vacated by a sentencing judge. The judge may vacate a conviction by permitting the applicant to withdraw his or her guilty plea and enter a not guilty plea, or set aside the guilty verdict and dismiss the information, indictment, complaint or citation against the applicant, and vacate the judgment and sentence. Once the court vacates a record of conviction, the offense is no longer included in the person's criminal history.

Vacating a Prostitution Conviction. A person convicted of Prostitution may have the record of his or her conviction vacated if he or she can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the prostitution conviction was a result of being a victim of one of the following offenses:

  1. Trafficking. A person recruited, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, bought, purchased, or received the applicant, either knowingly or in reckless disregard that force, fraud, or coercion would be used to cause the applicant to engage in a sexually explicit act or that the applicant was under 18 years old and would be caused to engage in a sexually explicit act.

  2. Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree. A person knowingly compelled the applicant by threat or force to engage in prostitution, or a person knowingly compelled an applicant with a mental incapacity or developmental disability that renders him or her incapable of consent, to engage in prostitution.

  3. Promoting Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor. A person knowingly advanced commercial sexual abuse or a sexually explicit act of the applicant when he or she was under 18 years old.

  4. Trafficking in Persons Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The applicant was induced by force, fraud, or coercion to engage in a commercial sex act, or the applicant was induced to engage in a commercial sex act when he or she was under 18 years old.

The applicant may not have the record of conviction for Prostitution vacated if:

Summary of Bill:

A qualifying victim convicted of Prostitution may vacate the record of his or her Prostitution conviction even if he or she has been convicted of another crime since the date of the prostitution conviction. The person must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she committed the other crime as a result of being a victim of:

Any motion to vacate a conviction must be supported by the sworn testimony of the applicant at hearing before the court.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on March 7, 2017.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.