Prostitution Sting by Seattle Police Catches All Walks of Life

What to expect if arrested for Soliciting a Prostitute?

Attorneys, surgeons, architects, nurses, journalist, and a dentist were among the two hundred men arrested in a massage parlor sting operation by the Seattle Police Department over the past few weeks. The police set up a massage parlor in Seattle and undercover female officers offered a massage and a sex act for a fee.

They will be criminally charged with “sexual exploitation” under Seattle Municipal Code 12A.10.040. A person is guilty of sexual exploitation if:

  1. Pursuant to a prior understanding, he or she pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third having engaged in sexual conduct with him or her; or
  2. He or she pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her; or
  3. He or she solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual contact with him or her in return for a fee.

The Seattle Municipal Court adopted the above referenced language from the Washington State Code (RCW). A person can be charged in District Court under the State Code for the same offense but it would be called “patronizing a prostitute” pursuant to RCW 9A.88.110. Regardless, the charges are misdemeanor offenses and the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail.


The court will impose the following penalties and restrictions if convicted:

  1. Biological sample collected for DNA identification
  1. DNA fee is $100
  1. Geographical restrictions near location of the crime
  2. Complete an educational program about the negative impact of prostitution
  3. One Thousand Five Hundred dollar fee for first offense
    1. $2,500 for second offense
    2. $5,000 for third offense
  4. Additional court fine up to $1,000.

Revenue from the fees are deposited into the Sex Industry Victims Fund and used for education including John Schools, rehabilitative services for victims, and for local law police efforts including Vice Enforcement.

Fortunately, a conviction does not require a person to register as a sex offender. An arrest can be an embarrassing experience but it does not have to ruin
your life.

Defense attorneys should be advocating for entry into a deferred sentence, a deferred prosecution, or a diversion agreement. The goal is to ultimately have the case dismissed upon completion of the agreed upon requirements. It’s critical to be proactive and seek representation. Contact the Law Office of Michael P. Sheehy, PLLC to learn about your options, available defenses, and how to avoid a conviction.

You can read more on the story by clicking here.

What’s the difference between expunging , vacating, & sealing a criminal record?

A person’s criminal record can easily be found on the internet. The Washington State Patrol (WSP), Identification and Criminal History Section is considered the official gatekeeper of criminal records in Washington State. Convictions and arrests are made available on a WATCH report on the WSP website at

A criminal conviction can have severe consequences beyond jail time if a person does not expunge, vacate or seal his record. A record can make you ineligible for employment. A crime “against a person” or crimes relating to financial exploitation will prohibit employment at nursing homes, child care facilities, boarding homes, school, hospitals, or any other place with a vulnerable population. A criminal record can also impact a person’s access to the following:

  1. Private and public housing
  2. Voting rights
  3. Student loans
  4. Military service
  5. Traveling to Canada
  6. Firearm possession
  7. Legal status to remain in the United States

In some cases, the stigma of an arrest or conviction maybe reversed through expunging, vacating, or sealing a charge. It’s important to understand the difference between the three and the eligibility requirements.

The differences between Expunging, Vacating, and Sealing are as follows:

  • Expunging a Record: Expunging a record means the arrest information will be physically destroyed. The Washington State Patrol is the only agency that will expunge arrest records. However, to be eligible the arrest must not have resulted in an “adverse action” against the arrestee. Adverse actions include convictions, bail forfeitures, deferred sentences, and stipulated order of continuance even if the case is dismissed after completing affirmative conditions. Essentially, only arrests that are never filed in court, acquittals, or outright dismissals can be expunged.
  • Sealing a Record: The actual court file is sealed and limited information is available on the Judicial Information System (JIS) and Superior Court Management Information System (SCOMIS). JIS and SCOMIS databases are used by Court staff and the public to review criminal records. However, a sealed record does not restrict the release of information that is already on the internet or part of a private database.
  • Vacating a Conviction: The Court will withdraw the guilty plea and dismiss the charge. The WSP will delete the record from the WATCH report and you can officially say you have never been convicted of the offense. However, private companies maintain databases without updating their records and may continue to disseminate incorrect convictions on the internet. We encourage Clients to send a letter requesting they update their database or face civil liability.

Attorney Sheehy has successfully vacated, expunged, and sealed files across Washington State. Contact him for an honest assessment and whether it’s worth pursuing post-conviction relief. Contact the Law Office of Michael P. Sheehy to determine your eligibility.

5 Reasons You Will Be Denied a Concealed Pistol License

We live in an era of non-stop budget cuts and law enforcement agencies are often at the receiving end. The police cannot be everywhere and gun advocates believe crime and mass shootings will be reduced if more guns are possessed by law abiding citizens in public spaces. All fifty states allow their citizens to carry a hidden firearm in public with a permit. In the State of Washington, carrying a pistol that is concealed while you are in public is a misdemeanor criminal law violation unless you have a concealed weapons permit (CPL). It is also a crime if you carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle without a CPL.

Well-meaning, law-abiding gun owners could be violating the law without knowing it. I would highly recommend applying for a CPL if you own a firearm. All you need is to bring $52 and a driver’s license to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office or the Sheriff’s office where you live. They will conduct a background check to determine your eligibility.

Here are the 5 most common reasons you will be denied a CPL:

  1. You are subject to a restraining order, protection order, anti-harassment order or any other order prohibiting contact with a person or prohibiting possessing a firearm
    • Be aware that many family law cases involving divorce incorporate a restraining order that prohibit possessing a firearm.
  2. You have ever been committed to a mental institution or deemed mentally defective.
  3. You have a felony conviction in this State or elsewhere. Vacating the conviction may help the approval process for your CPL application. Click here to contact the Law Office of Michael P. Sheehy to determine your eligibility.
  4. You have unlawfully used a controlled substance within the past year.
  5. You have a convictions for any of the following crimes committed by one family member against another:
    • Assault IV
    • Coercion
    • Stalking
    • Reckless Endangerment
    • Criminal Trespass in the first degree
    • Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from the residence

Protect your rights and apply for a CPL

*Disclaimer: Michael Sheehy only restores firearm rights in Washington state.*

Recent Challenges to Breath Test in DUI Cases

Washington State law requires a person to provide a breath sample to determine alcohol concentration if a police officer suspects they are driving under the influence. A person may refuse to take the test but will face enhanced penalties and a police officer may seek a search warrant for the person’s blood. Generally, after an arrest on the side of the road, police officers are required to transport the person to the police station and read the “Implied Consent Warnings for Breath” if they are seeking the suspect’s breath test results. The “Breath Warnings” advise a person of his rights and the penalties he could receive if the results are .08 or higher. The subject signs the “Warnings” and his signature is used as an acknowledgement that he made an informed decision to either provide or refuse a breath test.

On December 6, 2012 the marijuana legalization Initiative 502 became law. It permits the use and possession of marijuana for adults 21 years and older. In response to I-502, the Washington State Legislature changed the DUI statute making it illegal to drive a motor vehicle after using marijuana with 5 ng or more of THC in a person’s blood. The new law has not caught up with most police agencies and they are still using the old DUI “Warnings.”

The old DUI “Warnings” do not inform suspects of the driving license suspensions associated with being under the influence of marijuana. The Defense Bar started challenging the breath test results due to the inaccuracy of the warnings. Some Judges have suppressed the breath test results but most have yet to decide on the issue. If granted, the remedy is suppression of the BAC results, not an outright dismissal of the case. In many instances, the Prosecution can still prove a DUI charge without a breath test result, but you have a greater chance of having the charge reduced. Contact your attorney to determine if your Judge has heard this issue.

New Relief for Juvenile Sex Offenders in Lynwood

This new relief is helping to remove the stain of a criminal conviction and lift the sex offender registration requirement.

Juvenile sex convictions in Washington have short-term consequences including confinement, registration as a sex offender, and court ordered sexual deviancy treatment.

A mere charge or allegation can negatively impact a person’s ability to seek gainful

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Financial aid
  • Educational Benefits
  • Personal Relationships

Unfortunately, juvenile sex charges also have other unforeseen and long-lasting consequences that can create a psychological barrier straining relationships with family, friends, and significant others. Many young Juvenile offenders in the past were trapped, unable to vacate or seal their records, and forced to live with the conviction for the rest of their lives. It is well documented that many of them will have difficulty finding legitimate jobs and developing intimate relationships as they move into adulthood. Should we brand eleven-year-old offenders for the rest of their life? Is it too early to give up on them?

The Washington State Legislature believes it is too early and enacted a law to help convicted Juvenile Sex Offenders.

In 2011, the Washington State Legislature agreed that we have an obligation to rehabilitate sexual assault offenders and passed a law allowing some Juveniles the ability to vacate and seal their records.

It was decided as a matter of public policy that the toll on society for permanently branding a Juvenile at such an early age was too great. They considered research that children’s brains do not fully develop until their twenties and the impact it has on decision making abilities. This is by no means an excuse for committing a crime but it was a factor the Legislature considered before enacting the Juvenile Vacate law.

What You Need to Know to Vacate Your Record in Lynwood

Few people know that a Juvenile Sex Offender may vacate and seal his or her sex offense conviction. It is important to understand not all offenders are eligible to seal their records under this law.* For those that are eligible, it will not be an easy and quick process. A person must prove to the court that they have been rehabilitated and no longer pose a risk to society. The court will consider numerous factors including:

  • Nature of the offense
  • Criminal behavior before and after the offense
  • Noncriminal behavior before and after the offense
  • Compliance with supervision
  • Length of time since the offense
  • Participation in treatment
  • Input from the victim, law enforcement, and probation
  • Stability in employment and housing

Normally, we encourage our clients to seek a current risk assessment by a professional State certified therapist and voluntarily participate in a polygraph examination. Our Lynwood sex crime attorneys must also provide proof of that the offender successfully completed sexual deviancy counseling. It is not unusual for our office to take additional steps including interviewing family and friends. We will provide a “biography” of the Respondent to support our Petition to remove him or her from the sex offender registry.

A Judge and Prosecutor will hear the evidence to determine if a person is an appropriate candidate to lift the sex offender registration requirement and to have his or her record vacated and sealed. If granted, the charge will be dismissed and the file will be sealed. A person will officially be able to state on employment applications and elsewhere that he or she has never been convicted of the offense.

It may not be the answer for everyone, but the Legislature has determined some Juvenile Sex offenders deserve a second chance. Contact the Law Office of Michael P. Sheehy in Lynwood to determine your eligibility. Everybody makes mistakes – but should the mistakes you made as a child live with you for the rest of your life?

*Adult Sex offenders are generally not eligible to vacate their record and certain Juvenile Sex offenses are statutorily prohibited as well.


The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Michael P. Sheehy and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.