We file motions to seal your criminal record in the District of Columbia. We offer a Free consultation to determine eligibility. During our initial interview we can determine if you are eligible to have your criminal record sealed 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. In the District of Columbia the Court seals the record. If the record is sealed you will be given an Order signed by a Judge. However, sealing the record is for all practical purposes the same as expungement in DC.
In the District of Columbia, there is little difference between expunging the record or sealing the record. In the District of Columbia, the use of the word expungement only relates to a few misdemeanor charges.
• D.C. Code S 48-904.0:1.(e)-first-time drug “offender” (expungement) – The Court can still keep a record of the proceeding.
• D.C. Code§ 25-1002(c)(4)-underage consumption/possession of alcohol (expungement) – The Court can still keep a record of the proceeding.
• D.C. Code§ 22-1844-human trafficking (vacatur and expungement) – The Court does not have to keep a record of the proceeding.
Under the expungement statute, the Court can still keep a record of the offense except pursuant to D.C. Code 22-1844.
In the District of Columbia, there are several ways to seal a criminal record. In the District of Columbia, the use of the word sealing is related to the following:
• D.C. Code S 16-802-actual innocence (sealing) – Expressly allow the prosecutor and law enforcement agencies to maintain a publicly available record so long as it is not retrievable by the identification of the movant
• D.C. Code S 16-803-interests of justice (less complete sealing) – The prosecutor’s office and agencies shall be entitled to retain any and all records relating to the movant’s arrest and conviction in a nonpublic file
• D.C. Code§ 16-803(c-2)-mistaken identity (sealing) – The prosecutor’s office and agencies shall be entitled to retain any and all records relating to the movant’s arrest and conviction in a nonpublic file.
• D.C. Code S 16-803.01-fugitive matters (sealing) – The clerk shall be entitled to retain any and all records relating to the movant’s arrest, related court proceedings, or conviction in a nonpublic file.
• D.C. Code S 16-803.02—decriminalized and legalized offenses (sealing) -The prosecutor’s office, any law enforcement agency, and any pretrial, corrections, or community supervision agency shall be entitled to retain records relating to the movant’s arrest, prosecution, conviction, or related Superior Court proceedings in a nonpublic file.
The Court may allow law enforcement to keep records that are sealed but only to a limited extent.
Is there a Difference Between Sealing and Expunging
Sealing and expungement are basically the same things in the District of Columbia. It’s just a difference in wording. The issue is whether the Court and the prosecutor can maintain the records. That depends on what statute you are seeking to seal or expunge. The Court wipes all records if you are seeking expungement pursuant to D.C. Code§ 22-1844. The best sealing option would be sealing under actual innocence pursuant to D.C. Code S 16-802. Regardless, of whether the matter is sealed or expunged, the question is whether records are accessible. The public is not permitted to access the records, whether the case is sealed or expunged. Law enforcement has limited access to the records, whether the matter is sealed or expunged.
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
Yes all arrest records can be sealed as long as the waiting period has been satisfied. Remember arrest are different from convictions.
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. Most people charged with misdemeanor offenses will seal their record pursuant to a. Actual innocence(DC Code § 16-802)- arrest and case records are permanently sealed b. Interest of Justice(DC Code§ 16-803)
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.
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:
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
The only felony that can be expunged in the District of Columbia is Felony Bail Reform Act Violation.
Ineligible Misdemeanor List
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.
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.
No, most cases are sealed based on the representations made in the motion.
It usually takes about 90 days from the date of filing for the Court to make a decision
Let us Help You – DC EXPUNGEMENT & SEALING LAWYERS
Read our Blog on Sealing on Actual Innocence
See Our Video on Ineligible Misdemeanor offenses for Expungement
See our Video on Getting your Criminal Record
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