Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1997 NO. 1 > Jan 10 1997

1.   By virtue of RCW 3.66.067, a criminal defendant whose imposition of sentence has been deferred may, after meeting such terms as the court may have established, apply to withdraw his or her plea and seek dismissal of the charges, and the court may for good cause grant such application; however, where sentence is imposed but its execution is suspended pursuant to RCW 3.66.068, the law does not authorize withdrawal of a guilty plea or dismissal of charges.  2.   Whether a criminal sentence is deferred pursuant to RCW 3.66.067, or imposed and suspended pursuant to RCW 3.66.068, courts lack authority to delete or expunge the record of conviction based on a defendant's fulfillment of conditions attached to the deferred or suspended sentence; RCW 10.97 defines these records as "conviction records" and requires that the record of conviction in either type of case be maintained and available to law enforcement agencies and others as defined therein.

AGO 1974 NO. 1 > Jan 16 1974

The provisions of § 4 (1), chapter 202, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., do not prohibit persons obtaining specific investigative information regarding organized crime activities by reason of their public employment with the state of Washington or its political subdivisions from divulging that information to nonlaw enforcement agencies such as mayors, city councils, licensing departments, legislative committees or other regulatory bodies when called upon to do so in the performance of their official functions and duties.

AGO 1992 NO. 2 > Feb 27 1992

RCW 19.16.250 prohibits licensed debt collection agencies from threatening a debtor with criminal prosecution.  This does not prevent an agency from including in the notice of dishonor of check the statutory language in RCW 62A.3-520 that cautions that law enforcement agencies may be provided with a copy of the notice.

AGO 1980 NO. 2 > Jan 11 1980

The provisions of RCW 9A.04.050, under which children under eight years of age are incapable of committing a crime and children between eight and twelve years of age are presumed to be incapable of committing a crime, do not apply in a proceeding in juvenile court under chapter 13.40 RCW to have such child adjudged a "juvenile offender" as defined in RCW 13.40.020(11).

AGO 1967 NO. 4 > Feb 6 1967

Where facts occur which constitute a violation of both RCW 9.45.040 and RCW 19.48.110 (relating to obtaining accommodations by fraud), the crime is to be regarded as a gross misdemeanor pursuant to the provisions of the latter statute.

AGO 2002 NO. 4 > Jul 9 2002

1.  RCW 9.41.040 defines the circumstances under which a person convicted of a misdemeanor might lose the right to possess a firearm and the circumstances in which such a right might be restored.  2.   If a person is convicted of a crime for which RCW 9.41.040 prescribes no procedure for the restoration of firearm possession rights, the only available statutory remedy is a pardon by the governor with a finding either of innocence or of rehabilitation.

AGO 1976 NO. 4 > Jan 22 1976

The provisions of Initiative No. 316, defining the crime of aggravated murder in the first degree and providing for a mandatory sentence of death with respect to that degree of murder, do not apply to offenses committed prior to July 1, 1976.

AGO 1988 NO. 5 > Mar 8 1988

1.  State law authorizes but does not require the Department of Social and Health Services (Child Protective Services) to investigate complaints of child abuse allegedly perpetrated by third parties (that is, persons not the parent or guardian of the child and not standing in loco parentis to the child). 2. State law authorizes but does not require the Department of Social and Health Services (Child Protective Services) to investigate complaints alleging physical or sexual abuse committed by a teacher against a child. 3. State law authorizes but does not require the Department of Social and Health Services (Child Protective Services) to investigate complaints alleging physical or sexual abuse committed by a neighbor against a child. 4. Although the Department of Social and Health Services is ordinarily not legally obligated to investigate complaints alleging physical or sexual abuse against a child by third parties, an obligation to investigate might arise where the abuse by the third party is directly related to neglect or abuse by the child's parent or guardian or by a person standing in loco parentis to the child.

AGLO 1977 NO. 5 > Jan 31 1977

In order to sustain a criminal prosecution for mutilating or needlessly wasting the carcass of a game animal under RCW 77.16.090, it is necessary to prove that the person charged with wasting or mutilating is the same person who killed the animal in question.

AGO 2014 NO. 6 > Jun 2 2014


  1.  An individual who has been convicted in a foreign country of a crime that is comparable to a felony under Washington law is prohibited from possessing a firearm in Washington and, accordingly, is ineligible for a concealed pistol license.
  2. An issuing authority is prohibited from issuing a concealed pistol license to any applicant with a foreign conviction comparable to a Washington felony.