Record Sealing Process in D.C.

In Washington D.C., a record with even a single legal blemish can hurt your chances at finding quality work or attaining financial aid. Talk to a Washington, D.C. expungement lawyer to seal your past and start working toward a brighter future.  Your attorney can help you by filing a persuasive and well-pleaded motion in court requesting that the judge seal your criminal records.

Keep in mind, however, that the government can object to your expungement motion.  Once your motion has been filed, the prosecutor may very likely oppose the motion and argue that it is in the government’s interests to keep your record available.  An experienced Washington D.C. expungement lawyer will know how to respond to any opposition, including by filing a reply to the opposition in the court and requesting a hearing on your expungement matter.  This is all the more reason to have an experienced and knowledgeable expungement lawyer on your side.

Sealing of Public Records

If the court grants your motion to seal your criminal record, the judge will order the prosecuting agency, all law enforcement agencies, and any pretrial, corrections, or community supervision agency to remove all references to you from their publicly available records.  These agencies are given 90 days to comply with the court’s order and file a certification that your records have been sealed.  D.C. Code 16-803(l)(1)(C).

These sealed records are kept in a non-public file that cannot be accessed by the general public, and are only available to courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies for lawful purposes.  D.C. Code § 16-806(b).  In limited circumstances, schools, licensing agencies, and government employers may be able to request access to the records.  D.C. Code § 16-801(11).  An experienced expungement lawyer will be able to fully explain to you the particulars of records sealed in the interests of justice.

Record Sealing for Actual Innocence Expungements

If you were seeking expungement of your records on grounds of actual innocence, the court goes even further.  Upon granting your motion, the court will summarize the factual circumstances of your case in an Order of the Court ruling that you did not commit the offense, or that the offense never occurred.  D.C. Code § 16-802(h)(1)(A).  This Order will be provided to you before being sealed with the rest of your records.

Additionally, for expungements granted on grounds of actual innocence the Court will order all of your computerized records to be purged, and a non-public, sealed physical file will be kept with the court clerk and can only be opened by filing a motion with the court showing a compelling need to disclose the records.  D.C. Code § 16-806(a).

Call An Expungement Attorney Today

As you can see, there are many reasons to pursue a record expungement in the District of Columbia, but these types of motions can become very complicated very quickly. Speak with an expungement lawyer who understands what it takes to file an effective motion and get you on your way to a better future. Our legal team is standing by to speak with you.

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