Washington DC criminal law provides a process for individuals with arrests and convictions on their records to get have their record expunged. An arrest is not a conviction. It is much worse to have a conviction on your record than to only have an arrest. However, schools, employers, and basically anyone who does a background check will not look favorably on either. Accordingly, if you have a prior arrest or conviction, its important to consult a DC expungement lawyer to see if you are eligible to have your record expunged.
In DC, certain eligible misdemeanor arrests and convictions may be expunged after 2 years. Certain misdemeanors, however, may not be expunged. Having an eligible misdemeanor sealed requires that the person wait two years and file a motion with the court. Whether the person filing the motion was guilty or innocent does not matter for purposes of the motion. The only felony conviction eligible for expungement is a felony Bail Reform Act violation (failing to appear for court).
Someone arrested and charged with a crime but not convicted can file a motion under grounds of actual innocence. That motion can be filed anytime after the case is dismissed. However, to file on grounds of actual innocence, the moving person must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that person did not commit the offense. If the person waits longer than four years to file the motion, the burden of proof rises to clear and convincing evidence.
If you have an arrest or conviction on your record, contact Scrofano Law PC today for a consultation on whether you can have your record expunged.