The attorneys at Ervin Kibria PLLC are committed to providing updates and insight into changing criminal offenses in Virginia and DC.
When facing criminal charges it is obviously of the utmost importance that you find an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer to help you resolve any criminal charges against you and work to have the case come to a close and be finalized. Hopefully, if you have hired a skilled attorney, they will have the case come to a close in a disposition that is favorable to you, whether it be a dismissal outright, dismissal after diversion or plea agreement, or a dismissal at trial by a not guilty finding at trial.
However, while the terms “expunging” and “sealing” are often used interchangeably, there are in fact minor differences based on the formal definitions. “Expungement” (also called “expunction”) is defined as “the removal of a conviction from a person’s criminal record.” The “sealing of criminal records” is defined as “the act or practice of officially preventing access to particular records in the absence of a court order.”
Although people normally think of the term “expungement” to describe the process, “sealing” provides a more accurate description of what actually happens in D.C. It is not that the record is obliterated, erased, or wiped out, as suggested by the term “expungement.” Instead, it is that the record is hidden from public view. In both cases, expungement or sealing, the government still keeps a record of the arrest/conviction on file.
Contact Ervin Kibria PLLC ,t o talk with an attorney with extensive experience in having criminal records sealed/expunged.
Obtaining A Copy of Your Criminal Record/History
According to D.C. Code § 2-1402.66, a person may request a copy of his or her arrest record to find out whether he or she is eligible to have that record “sealed” (i.e., hidden from public view.) You can check your record on-line here. For a certified copy of your criminal history, you should go to the 4th Floor of the Police District Building at 300 Indiana Avenue, NW.
Any person who has been convicted of an “eligible misdemeanor” (see below) or felony violation under the Bail Reform Act must wait eight years after completion of sentence before filing a motion to seal the conviction. Any open charges or prior convictions would, however, render the person ineligible for relief. The burden is on the person filing the motion to establish by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the interest of justice for the judge to grant relief.
If the motion is granted, the person subject to relief is able to honestly and legally deny the conviction to anyone other than: (1) any court, (2) any federal, state, or local prosecutor, (3) any law enforcement agency, (4) any licensing agency, (5) any licensed school, day care center, or other facility involving children, (6) any government employer or nominating/tenure commission with respect to employment of a judicial or quasi-judicial officer or employment at a senior-level, executive-grade government position. D.C. Code § 16-803.
“Eligible misdemeanor” is any misdemeanor that is NOT included in the following list:
Nabeel Kibria is a principal attorney of Ervin Kibria PLLC, representing clients in criminal and immigration matters throughout DC.