REentry Legal Services - Expungement, Record Sealing Law
Why Seal Your Record?
In most jurisdictions, arrests, convictions, indictments, case dismissals, etc. are well documented. Criminal justice agencies maintain records of these events in data bases that are generally open to the public. Over the past ten years, employers, landlords and creditors routinely conduct background investigations before making a decision.  It is no secret that a criminal record can have a negative impact on career and housing opportunities and more. 
The negative stigma that attaches to a person with a criminal history can follow them for life. Moreover, while there exist a world of difference between arrest and conviction, it is often the case that no distinction is made between an arrest and a conviction and other dispositions when it comes to the decisions of employers, landlords and creditors to offer opportunities. A person who has a criminal record will likely contend with discrimination and a range of collateral consequences regardless of how involved or how slight their involvement with the criminal justice system.  Expunging or sealing a criminal record will prevent  employers, creditors, landlords and the general public from gaining access to your criminal history.
The District of Columbia City Council enacted legislation to allow persons with certain misdemeanor and felony arrests and even some convictions to seal their records. Under the District of Columbia Code, there are two primary means of sealing a criminal record:
  •  A person may petition the court to seal their record, claiming "actual innocence" under D.C. Code 16-802. A person claiming actual innocence must show that either they did not commit the crime or no crime was committed.
  • : A person may also petition the court to seal their record under D.C. Code 16-803 where they must basically convince the Court that while they are not claiming actual innocence, they are rehabilitated and are in need of and deserve a second chance.
As with most legislation, this law is replete with conditions and mandatory criteria to be eligible for record sealing. In addition, being eligible does not mean that your record will be automatically sealed. Under both regulations, a good deal of advocacy and persuasiveness is required.  REentry Legal Services has vast experience with sheparding a motion through the sealing process in order to allow for the best possible outcome--a sealed criminal record.
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REentry Legal Services, PLLC
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Phone: (202) 829-3832
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