Expungement/sealing criminal records in the District of Columbia

Expungement/sealing a criminal record in the District of Columbia is accomplished by filing a Motion (a written request to the Court)to Seal in DC Superior Court.  

What is the difference between expungement and sealing criminal records in DC?

expungement and sealing your criminal record

The key difference between expunging a person’s criminal record and sealing it is that a sealed record still “exists” in both a legal and physical sense, while expungement results in the deletion of any record that an arrest or criminal charge ever occurred.  In the District of Columbia only drug possession charges can be sealed.  Other eligible misdemeanor cases are sealed.  Expungement in the District of Columbia means your criminal record is erased.  There is no longer any trace of the record.  Sealing a criminal record in the District of Columbia means the record is hidden or sealed so that the record is not visible to the public without Court approval.  In the District of Columbia most criminal records are sealed as opposed to expunged.  The only criminal record that may be expunged in the District of Columbia is simple possession of drugs cases.  For all intents and purposes sealing and expungement are the same thing in the District of Columbia.    

Can Criminal Convictions be sealed in the District of Columbia?

Almost all traffic convictions and most misdemeanor convictions can be sealed in the District of Columbia?  In fact, the misdemeanors that are not sealable are called ineligible misdemeanors.   The record can be sealed as long as the waiting period has been satisfied.    Here is the list of ineligible misdemeanors 

Can Arrest Records be sealed in the District of Columbia?

Yes all arrest records can be sealed as long as the waiting period has been satisfied.  Remember arrest are different from convictions.  

What does it Mean to Have my Criminal Record Sealed?

Another question you may have is If a record is sealed, the government deletes or limits access to it.   A sealed record can generally not be used against you if you are applying for a job, in other background checks or in certain legal proceedings. There are two levels of sealing under the new Criminal Records Sealing Act: a.     Actual innocence(DC Code § 16-802)- arrest and case records are permanently sealed b. Interest of Justice(DC Code§ 16-803)

What is difference between an Arrest and a Conviction?

There is a huge difference between an arrest and a conviction.  However, there is a public record for an arrest as well as for a conviction.  You should seek to seal an arrest and a conviction.   

  • An arrest means that you were taken into custody and booked(finger printed and identified) by the police. 
  • A Conviction  formal declaration by a Court of Law that someone is guilty of a criminal offense.

How Do I Know If I Have a Criminal Record in the District of Columbia

HExpungement and sealing your criminal recordave you ever been arrested and never charged with a crime? Were you charged but the case against you was dismissed? Were you found not guilty at trial or placed on deferred prosecution or deferred sentencing for a misdemeanor?  Did you have a trial and then found guilty?  Did you plead guilty in Court?  If the answer to any of these questions is, “Yes,” then you currently have a criminal record.

Conviction means that you were found guilty after a trial, or pled guilty or pled nolo contendere (“no contest”) to the charges.   Your Superior Court records will show the disposition of your case.  There are four principal parts of a criminal proceeding: arrest, charge(s), conviction and sentence. Generally, you only receive a sentence (punishment) if you were convicted of a crime. If the proceeding against you did not go beyond arrest or charging, you were not convicted. The Court can, however, require you to meet certain requirements, such as community service, drug treatment and educational programs, without having to convict you. You may have received such “punishment,” but were not convicted under the law.   You were convicted if:  You were found guilty at a trial or you pled guilty. It is also a conviction if you found not guilty by reason of insanity or if you pled nolo contendere (no contest).  You were NOT convicted if:

  1. Arrest Only – the government did not take any further action against you after your arrest
  2. No Papered
  3. Post and Forfeit
  4. Arrest + Charge Only – the government arrested and charged you with a crime
  5. Nolle Prosequi or dismissal – the prosecutor dropped the charges against you
  6. DWP – Dismissal for want of prosecution. (This kind of dismissal almost always happens on the day of trial.)
  7.     Acquitted – you were found not guilty by a judge or jury
  8. You entered a Diversion Agreement.  ie. Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Deferred Sentencing Agreement. Drug Court.
  9. Youth Rehabilitation Act (You were under the age of 25 at the time of the conviction)
Where do I go to find out whether I Have a Criminal Record

In order to get a copy of your complete D.C. criminal record, you should go to the Metropolitan Police Department or  Superior Court.  1.Metropolitan Police Department Records 300 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004.  2. DC Superior Court 500 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004

Can I seal my Felony Record?

The only felony that can be expunged in the District of Columbia is Felony Bail Reform Act Violation

What Misdemeanors are not Eligible for Sealing?

Ineligible Misdemeanor List

  1. Intra-family offense (generally, !!!!Y crime, including assault, robbery, burglary, etc., where the alleged victim was a family member, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a roommate or shared a child with the person who allegedly committed the )
  2. Driving while intoxicated or under the influence and/or operating while
  3. A misdemeanor offense that required you to register as a sex
  4. Criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult
  5. Interfering with access to a medical facility
  6. Possession of a pistol by a convicted felon
  7. Failure to report child abuse
  8. Refusal or neglect of guardian to provide for child under 14 years of age
  9. Disorderly conduct (peeping tom)
  10. Misdemeanor sexual abuse
  11. Violating the Sex Offender Registration Act
  12. Violating child labor laws
  13. Election/petition fraud
  14. Public assistance fraud
  15. Trademark counterfeiting
  16. Attempted trademark counterfeiting
  17. Fraud in the second degree
  18. Attempted fraud
  19. Credit card fraud
  20. Attempted credit card fraud
  21. Misdemeanor insurance fraud
  22. Attempted insurance fraud
  23. Telephone fraud
  24. Attempted telephone fraud
  25. Identity theft, second degree
  26. Attempted theft
  27. Fraudulent statements or failure to make statements to employee
  28. Fraudulent withholding information or failure to supply information to employer
  29. Fraud and false statements
  30. False statement/dealer certificate
  31. False information/registration
  32. No school bus driver’s license
  33. False statement on DMV document
  34. No permit – 2nd or greater offense
  35. Altered title
  36. Altered registration
  37. No commercial driver’s license
  38. A violation of building and housing code regulations
  39. A violation of the Public Utility Commission regulations
  40. Attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above
What is Process for Sealing my Criminal Record in DC

The process is started by filing a motion to seal in DC Superior Court.    A motion is your request for the Court to do something for you.   After you file the motion the Court will give the Prosecutor time to respond.   Thereafter, the Court will reach a decision of whether to seal your record.  

Do misdemeanors go away in DC?

No misdemeanors do not just go away in DC without you filing a motion with the Court to seal.  There is no automatic right for the case to go away.

Will I have to go to Court for a Hearing on Sealing my Criminal Record?

No, most cases are sealed based on the representations made in the motion.  

How long does it take to seal a Criminal Record in the District of Columbia?

It usually takes about 90 days from the date of filing for the Court to make a decision

How to Go About Starting the Process

Let us Help You – DC EXPUNGEMENT & SEALING LAWYERS

Expungement and Sealing Criminal RecordsRollins & Chan offers personalized legal counsel to each and every client. We understand how important it is to clear your criminal record, and we have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process efficiently. We offer free initial consultations in which we evaluate your case to determine if your record can be expunged or sealed.

Read our Blog on Sealing on Actual Innocence

sealing your Record in the District of Columbia

Should you seal your record in the District of Columbia

See Our Video on Ineligible Misdemeanor offenses for Expungement

See our Video on Getting your Criminal Record

Rollins and Chan Law Firm

419 7th Street, NW Suite 405
Washington DC, District of Columbia 20004
United States (US)
Phone: 202-455-5610

 

Client Reviews

By: Vargha Tebyanian

Title: I was very impressed

Client Description:

I was very impressed by the knowledge, professionalism, efficiency, responsiveness, and attention to detail that these 2 amazing attorneys manifested through my experience with them. They listened to all of my concerns and addressed each issue one at a time and took the time to explain everything in lengthy detail. This made me feel comfortable and they delivered on what I requested from them exactly as they promised. I HIGHLY recommend these 2 for your legal services. I promise you, you will not find a better duo., A++

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars

Contact Us

Testimonials

Gary Xia
Happy Client
Read More
Mark and Ada are incredibly good at what they do, helping resolve my query in record time. Even though it was only a smaller request, they both took my concerns seriously and were always available to answer questions.
June Pyon
Satisfied Client
Read More
I had a really wonderful experience with Ada and Mark! When I began my search for law firms, I was really starting to feel hopeless with finding a firm in D.C. where I felt I wasn’t being taken advantage of and my wallet wasn’t being......
Raynard Vincent Price
Raynard Vincent Price
Happy Client
Read More
Knowledgable and reputable. I support and recommend to my many friends in the Washington, D.C. area. What say you?
Jason K
Jason K
Extremely happy Client
Read More
They are the best! They dont over charge and work hard to get you the best results. Their customer service is unmatched and really care about you. I was really stressed out about my court case but they helped me through it. And even better...they got my case dismissed!!
Previous
Next

"Mark and Ada are incredibly good at what they do, helping resolve my query in record time...”

client 2019 (from Google Reviews)

Check out our 5 Star Reviews

Kristan Roberts
Kristan Roberts
02:31 12 Apr 17
Ada Chan is beyond AMAZING. I am now living in Florida and she texted me, called me immediately, absolutely anytime I had a question or concern. I still keep in touch with her after she won my case. I only wish she practiced law in Florida! LOVE ROLLINS and CHAN! Thank you both so much.read more
Matt Mario
Matt Mario
15:50 12 Mar 17
Retaining Ms. Chan as my attorney was the best move I made in my case. Two weeks before my court date, I had not decided on a lawyer. I was very uneasy and stressed out. Up to that point, I spoke to three lawyers but I was not convinced. Doing a little more research, I found Ms. Chan and gave her a call. I gave her details of my case and informed her of my prior convictions. She gave me step by step what the process would be with the prosecution and possible scenarios. As we spoke, I was very comfortable and had full confidence in her ability to get me the best outcome possible. I was able to meet with Ms. Chan and Mr. Rollins not long after and felt even more stress was lifted off my shoulders. As a working student with two jobs, the price she quoted me was very affordable. With the short amount of time before my court date, she gathered all the information needed to find the best outcome. Being that I was a previous offender, Ms. Chan was able to negotiate a deal to get my charges dismissed. I am very thankful of her time and effort, because it benefits me and my future. Throughout the process, she was able to keep me updated, helped me relax and stay at ease. She guaranteed exceptional service and her efforts went above and beyond. Not to mention, she puts herself in her client’s shoes so she understands and cares. There was never any moment I had doubt. Ms. Chan met all my expectations and I would highly recommend her to my friends, family, and everyoneread more
Andrew So
Andrew So
15:12 13 Jan 17
Ada is a beast. She thoroughly held my hand through the process of my case and made me feel comfortable with choosing her out of all the other firms in DC. She worked diligently and kept me posted at all times of my case status and answered any questions regardless of the day and time. Ada is very responsive and ready to answer any questions you have and will guide you through the ins and outs of the process. Would rate 6 stars but 5 is the max.read more
Q Hefner
Q Hefner
03:29 07 Dec 16
Mark and Ada are the TRUTH! Hands down! From the beginning, Ada listened to the details of my case over the phone, and gave transparent and objective advice. Most, if not all, other firms don't want to listen to your case details without setting up an initial face-to-face consultation ($$$). Ada is comical and will respond to any questions you have via text - in record time - every time! Mark communicates best via email, but is nevertheless equally as responsive. Mark and Ada and will break all the court jargon and law terminology down in such a way that makes you understand both the fine details and the big picture of your case. With Mark and Ada, you will pay a reasonable, flat rate and their attentiveness, guidance, and execution are second to none! They will come up with a game-plan and carry it out with precision. I am completely satisfied and I have nothing but high regards for Mark and Ada. And although I don't want to have to, I would request their services again or recommend them to family or friends.read more
jason kim
jason kim
14:08 14 Feb 17
They are the BEST!! Easy to get a hold of and really care about you. I was really stressed about my court case but they helped me through it. Even better, they got my case dismissed! They have the best rates and customer service around. They know what they are doing!!read more
shawn price
shawn price
22:42 07 Jul 17
I was in dire need of legal representation, I did my research and came across The Rollins and Chan Law Firm. After talking to Ms Chan about my legal situation, I was truly confident in choosing this firm to handle my legal matters. I made an appointment to meet Mr Rollins and everything was above what I expected. The process was quick to get rectified with this team of counsellors, I am very happy with everything they have done for me. If anyone is in need of legal representation, this is the best choice to handle it. The communication was phenomenal. Thank you Mr Rollins and Ms Chan for giving me a fresh start in life again.read more
Yohannes Aman
Yohannes Aman
17:59 22 Jul 17
I'm not the best at verbalising things but when it comes to Ada Chan (Rollins and Chan)all I can say is wow! What kept me up and overwhelmed me was put to rest with the legal advice I received.Simply put the honesty of the firm will prove best whether it's good news or a fight. The firm carries this much positive feedback for a reason. Thankyou so much Ada!!!!read more
Anonymous One
Anonymous One
21:31 05 Jul 17
Mark Rollins is an excellent attorney. He's very knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to client advocacy and representation. I highly recommend the Rollins and Chan Law firm.read more
Keith Hammonds
Keith Hammonds
16:08 14 Jul 17
Had a great day in court mr mark rollins was the best lawyer. He hears you ponit and fights for your rights and your freedom i was proud to have mr rollins as a lawyerread more
Joey Vasquez
Joey Vasquez
17:26 01 Aug 17
Where do I start? I really liked Rollins and Chan, I'm so happy I was able to have them represent me. It's only these two attorneys so when you talk to someone you're talking to the person that will represent you. They are both very friendly and knowledgeable. They don't sugar coat it and are up front and forward about everything. They kept in contact with me from day one to make sure any and all of my questions were answered. I was fortunate enough to have my case dropped on my way to the courthouse, I cannot explain how happy I am with their work and service! They're definitely well worth it!read more
Mzs Johnson
Mzs Johnson
18:02 21 Sep 17
Wow! Where does one even BEGIN to rate this Firm at anything less than 10 stars!? I cannot say enough about how GREAT Ada, and Mark are! From the very first time I called their office to retain counsel; I knew this was the Firm for me. Ada took my call, and she was so sympathetic and passionate about my situation without having met me face to face. I was a victim of police brutality, and subsequently was charged with "Resisting Arrest, and Obstructing and Hindering". Although my charges were misdemeanors, they carried 3 years. Ada from the very beginning took on my case with a fury! She stayed in contact with me via text, and responded immediately if I texted or called her with questions or concerns. Not only that, she is so compassionate that she would offer words of comfort and healing whenever I was feeling apprehensive, or stressed out about my case. She is unlike any other attorney I have ever dealt with. Her close communication, and concern really made me feel like she was my best friend or sister. Ada and Mark are both EXTREMELY knowledgeable about their expertise of law! Before my trial, they called me down to their office to go over my case before court. They wanted to make sure that I understood everything, and answered any questions or concerns that I had at no additional charge. My first court date was pushed back, rescheduled for two months out. I was never charged any additional fees for them to appear with me in court an additional time. They were extremely fair and reasonable for the above and beyond services they provided! I had my final case yesterday, and not only was it a VICTORY; I also received a better deal than I anticipated! The 3 years my charges carried were dropped, as well as the 2 years supervised probation the State's Attorney was trying to impose upon me, and one of the charges was STETTED. I walked out of the courtroom yesterday with Probation before Judgement for my charges! That is blessing from above. I felt TOTALLY exonerated by the outcome! First to God be the Glory for leading me to Rollins and Chan, and secondly, THANK YOU Ada and Mark! I'm so GRATEFUL for both of you succeeding in winning my case for me! It's folks like the two of you who truly care about the folks you represent, and the outcome of their situations. You all should be the poster child for ALL attorney's across the nation! Folks, I'm telling you....if you are in need of a Criminal Defense Attorney; don't waste your time looking elsewhere, or I guarantee you will be highly disappointed! You will NOT find a greater Firm than Rollins and Chan, and I will put MONEY on that! Although I love them dearly, I pray not to have to see them again under any other circumstances dealing with the law! LOL! But all jokes aside, thank you again Rollins and Chan for showing up, and showing out! I will continue to refer your Firm if ever I know someone in need. Keep up the great work! Cheers to the number ONE Criminal Defense Team in the DMV! #Friendsforlife #BonnieandClyde #God Blessread more
Terence lanfranc Kirubagaran
Terence lanfranc Kirubagaran
16:51 29 Oct 17
I contacted Mrs. Chan regarding a 'No permit' case after finding her through Google. She was prompt in responding to me and more importantly took the time to explain the process and various options for fee in layman terms that I could understand. She was patient in answering my multiple questions as this was the first time hiring a lawyer for me. Not only her fee was reasonable, she went above and beyond by representing me at the DMV in addition to the criminal court. She got both dismissed! She is a great attorney (which probably there are many in DC) but most important to me was that she made it easy to work with her. Thanks Chan.read more
Brandin Samuel
Brandin Samuel
20:19 23 Jan 18
When I initially reached out to this law firm, I was hesitant because I thought the price was pretty steep. However, after reaching out to 4 more law firms I realized that Rollins and Chan is not only very competitively priced, they offered expertise in numerous legal matters. My specific situation required that it be handled discretely and as fast as possible. Ada Chan was the lawyer that handled my case and I could not be happier with the results. The case was dismissed before there even was one. I highly recommend this law firm based on my personal experience with Ada Chan. She really went the extra mile to make sure everything went smoothly.read more
Carlos Devis
Carlos Devis
23:56 13 Feb 18
Aida Chan is a great lawyer who really cares about people, I interviewed several lawyers and she was from the beginning the most direct and clear, she spoke of the legal options educating not sowing fear and her way of charging her fees is transparent, I I hired her and she did an incredible job I would hire her again every time.read more
Elliott Hays
Elliott Hays
15:10 10 Mar 18
There are thousands of choices and you can only choose one. And I'm extremely happy I chose Rollins and Chan. I never needed a lawyer in the past and they represented my interests beyond my greatest expectations. They are fervent in their efforts, quick to communicate and available to their clients. I now find myself confident that if I need representation or councle in the future, I have a line to the best around. Choose them and you will too.read more
Christian Knight
Christian Knight
02:27 13 Mar 18
Mark Rollins is a down to earth awesome lawyer. When things looked kind of grim during trial, he came up with some creative stuff for my defense. Honestly I can't believe I didn't have to do anything but leave the courthouse. If I was to catch another charge like the ones he beat for me, I'm going to have to take it to trial, and go with my best chance. When it comes to DUI/DWI/and other types of drug charges, it's ?% Mark Rollins.read more
June Pyon
June Pyon
22:33 09 May 18
I had a really wonderful experience with Ada and Mark! When I began my search for law firms, I was really starting to feel hopeless with finding a firm in D.C. where I felt I wasn’t being taken advantage of and my wallet wasn’t being gouged. But all those worries went away the minute I called The Rollins and Chan Law Firm. From the beginning, Ada was super honest with me, and she’s funny and easy to get along with to boot. They truly were the only firm I felt I was getting my money’s worth because both Ada and Mark were always available to answer any questions or concerns I had. The best part is that I’m from out of town (about 4-5 hours away) and everything was being handled so well, that I didn’t even have to make a single trip to D.C. during my case. I made about ten calls to different law firms, and I can say, hands down, the Rollins and Chan Law Firm was the easiest and best decision I made!! Definitely give them a call!read more
War is not The answer
War is not The answer
15:28 13 Mar 19
Mr Mark i have no word to tell about you am very happy and i got clean and fresh mind you are the best Attorney Thank you very muchread more
Sherika Jones
Sherika Jones
17:27 23 Mar 19
Excellent service ! Mr. Rollins Worked diligently on my case ! I would definitely recommend his firm and I would chose them first if I should need legal representations the future. Thanks!read more
Gregory Copeland
Gregory Copeland
20:14 18 Apr 19
Hard working, professional, and knowledgeable I've been practice law over 20 years I call them regularly for legal advice on tough legal issues.read more
Jovan Southerland
Jovan Southerland
22:02 28 Apr 19
I Highly recommend them from my personal experience there GREAT....
A JOURNEY WITH JAQUALINE
A JOURNEY WITH JAQUALINE
22:40 14 May 19
Mr. Rollins is Amazing! He isn’t just any public defender, he actually cares and does what is best for you! Thanks a bunch!read more
Kerry Fuller
Kerry Fuller
14:23 16 May 19
I was in DC for a Human Rights event. My roll was providing free of charge a classic rock concert. During the event I had a situation occur that had me end up with a court hearing date to resolve. Though this was not a major issue I am so happy that Mark and Ada at The Rollins and Chan Law Firm were willing to help resolve this. They were very responsive and understanding of my situation and helped to have the case I was involved in dismissed, ensuring no public record of it. I highly recommend anyone with a major or minor police/court situation in DC to contact them. Thanks so much Mark and Ada. K Fread more
Henok Setegne
Henok Setegne
20:31 02 Aug 19
Mr Mark I can’t thank you enough for u done a great job for me and my friend! Ur so professional and hard working and highly knowledgeable! I would like to say keep it up for ur a great job!read more
Vargha Tebyanian
Vargha Tebyanian
20:20 10 Oct 19
I was very impressed by the knowledge, professionalism, efficiency, responsiveness, and attention to detail that these 2 amazing attorneys manifested through my experience with them. They listened to all of my concerns and addressed each issue one at a time and took the time to explain everything in lengthy detail. This made me feel comfortable and they delivered on what I requested from them exactly as they promised. I HIGHLY recommend these 2 for your legal services. I promise you, you will not find a better duo.read more
Gary Xia
Gary Xia
20:50 14 Nov 19
Mark and Ada are incredibly good at what they do, helping resolve my query in record time. Even though it was only a smaller request, they both took my concerns seriously and were always available to answer questions. In addition, they seemed to be genuinely nice people who care about doing the job right, rather than just about the $$, which is hard to find in the legal profession imho. Thanks Mark and Ada!!!read more
Omar Bississo
Omar Bississo
02:39 10 Nov 19
Mark Rollins is a talented trial attorney who fights hard for his clients. He has a keen ability to spot legal issues that other lawyers may overlook and use them to his client’s advantage. I highly recommend him.read more
Brandon
Brandon
00:38 31 Oct 19
All I can say is “wow”. This firm represented a family member of mine and they were just on top of their game. My family member (friend) was charged with a crime and they fought like crazy to win and help her. I was so impressed with Mr. Rollins and his professionalism. Thank you Rollins and Chan.read more
Jazmyn Brown
Jazmyn Brown
00:30 31 Oct 19
Me Rollins is a excellent attorney. if you need a criminal attorney you would do well in hiring him. i’m so impressed with his dedication to his clientsread more
Next Reviews

Facebook Reviews

Дн Шангова
Дн Шангова
2020-07-02T10:01:16+0000
Ada and Mark take their cases personally and seriously .They will not disappoint you . They will fight for you as if you are a family . Three words to describe them : Aggressive.Affordable. The Best in DCread more
Robin Richardson
Robin Richardson
2014-06-01T13:05:57+0000
Raynard Vincent Price
Raynard Vincent Price
2014-05-27T23:00:48+0000
Knowledgable and reputable. I support and recommend to my many friends in the Washington, D.C. area. What say you?read more
Mark Rollins
Mark Rollins
2014-02-06T04:36:06+0000
F Edward Brown
F Edward Brown
2013-09-01T16:37:27+0000

Yelp 5 star reviews

Jason K.
Jason K.
2017-02-14 06:12:37
They are the best! They dont over charge and work hard to get you the best results. Their customer service is unmatched and really care about you. I was...
K. Lawson W.
K. Lawson W.
2017-01-31 07:44:07
Rollins and Chan are excellent criminal defense attorneys. I have known both attorneys for over 15 years. Both Mark and Ada are very knowledgeable in all...
Theresa M.
Theresa M.
2013-11-27 13:45:38
Ms Chan did an amazing job with my case and was able to assist me with bargaining for reduced sentencing. I'm glad I used her services for my trial.
Terence Lanfranc K.
Terence Lanfranc K.
2017-10-29 09:54:49
I contacted Mrs. Chan regarding a 'No permit' case after finding her through Google. She was prompt in responding to me and more importantly took the time...

Corona Virus Update

The Rollins and Chan Law Firm is not accepting office appointments during Covid-19. We are abiding by the Mayor of Washington, DC and the Governor of Maryland Orders. You can schedule an appointment on zoom or telephone by click the button below.

Close the Content Dock