Sealing Your Criminal Record

Sealing Your Criminal Case in DCSo why should seal your Criminal Record in DC?

  • Information world.
  • Employment.
  • Housing.
  • Career Advancement
  • Discrimination

What are the Different Options for Sealing a Criminal Case in DC

Different Sealing Options for criminal records

Motion filed under Actual Innocence Statute DC Code 16-802

  • This Motion can be filed at anytime after the case is terminated
  • You have to prove that the offense did not occur or that you did not commit the offense.
  • If you file before 4 years – you are required to prove innocence by preponderance of the evidence
  • If you file after 4 years you are required to prove by clear and convincing evidence
  • Acquittal (Not guilty) is not innocence
Motion filed under Interest of Justice statute DC Code 16-803
  • Must meet waiting periods
  • Waiting periods vary based on the charge
  • Waiting periods vary whether terminated before prosecution
  • Waiting period begins when prosecution terminates
What Cases are Eligible to be Sealed


Eligible Misdemeanors

a.Unlawful entry

b.Simple assault

c.Assault on Police officer (misd)

d.Possession of drugs



g.Attempt misdemeanor charges

h.To many to list

Ineligible Misdemeanors

No Felonies (Except failure to appear in Court)


b.Domestic Violence

c.Misdemeanor sex offenses

d.Credit card fraud

e.See our youtube on ineligible misdemeanors


How does the Judge Decide in Interest of Justice Motions
  • The interests of the movant in sealing the publicly available records of his or her arrest, related court proceedings, or conviction.
  • The community’s interest in retaining access to those records, including the interest of current or prospective employers in making fully informed hiring or job assignment decisions and the interest in promoting public safety; and
  • The nature and circumstances of the offense at issue;
  • The movant’s role in the offense or alleged offense and, in cases terminated without conviction, the weight of the evidence against the person
  • The history and characteristics of the movant, including the movant’s:
  • (i)Character;
  • (ii)Physical and mental condition;
  • (iii)Employment history;
  • (iv)Prior and subsequent conduct;
  • (v)History relating to drug or alcohol abuse or dependence and treatment opportunities;
  • (vi)Criminal history; and
  • (vii)Efforts at rehabilitation;
What does it Mean if sealed in Interest of Justice

No person as to whom such relief has been granted shall be held thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of failure to recite or acknowledge his or her arrest,

You must disclose the sealed record in response to any direct question asked in connection with jury service or in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for a position with any person, agency, organization, or entity defined 

Where to get Records to determine Eligiblity
  • Superior Court – 4th Floor Criminal Clerk office.
  • Metropolitan Police Department

a.MPD creates a record – PD-251, you can request by email at

b.Can also get certified records

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