How do I expunge my criminal record in DC

How do I expunge my criminal record in DC

You can expunge or seal most misdemeanor criminal records in the District of Columbia.   There is a difference between sealing and expunging criminal records in the District of Columbia.  In the District of Columbia only misrepresentation of age offense and minor possession drug drugs can be expunged pursuant to D.C. Code § 48-904.01(e)(1)   . All other criminal cases in the District of Columbia, you may request to have the criminal record sealed pursuant DC Code: § 16-801.  

While most misdemeanors may be sealed in the District of Columbia, here is a list of ineligible misdemeanors in the District of Columbia.

According to DC Code D.C. Code § 48-904.01(e)(1), if a person is placed on probation for a drug offense the person

“may apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records (other than the nonpublic records to be retained under paragraph (1) of this subsection) all recordation relating to his or her arrest, indictment or information, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this subsection. If the court determines, after hearing, that such person was dismissed and the proceedings against him or her discharged, it shall enter such order. The effect of such order shall be to restore such person, in the contemplation of this law, to the status he or she occupied before such arrest or indictment or information. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment, or trial in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purpose”

Whats the difference between Expungement and Sealing in the District of Columbia?

An expungement removes arrests and/or convictions from a person’s criminal record entirely as if they never happened, whereas, sealing a criminal record seals the record from the public.   It should be noted that Motions to seal pursuant to actual innocence is most similar to expungement in the District of Columbia.  

Where do I go to get my Record Expunged in DC

First, you need to see what criminal record you may have in the District of Columbia.  The easiest way to check what arrest and convictions you may have is to go to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia located at:

Henry J. Daly Building
MPDC Headquarters
300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 1075
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 727-4245

To get your criminal records, you will need to complete a PD Form 70 (Criminal History Request) for a record check. This form is available when you visit the Arrest and Criminal History Section, on the first floor of Police Headquarters.   According to the police department, most requests will take approximately 24 hours to be processed.


Can I get my record expunged if Plead guilty in DC?

Yes, even if you plead guilty you can still seal the criminal record for most misdemeanor offenses.  

Can I get my record expunged online in DC?

No, you must file a written motion with DC Superior Court in order to seal your criminal case.

Can a Judge deny my request to have my record expunged in the District of Columbia?

Yes, a Judge can deny your request to have the matter sealed in the District of Columbia.   This is why you should consult with an experienced expungement lawyer when seeking to seal your criminal case.  

Is dismissed and expunged the same thing in the District of Columbia?

Even if your criminal case is dismissed there is still a criminal record of the arrest.  If your case was “no papered” you still have an arrest.