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FAQ / Can I Seal My Arrest Record? (for D.C)

You can only seal your record in regard to an individual arrest, not all arrests. You must also meet the following conditions:
É© You were arrested in D.C. for an offense that occurred in D.C. See D.C. Super. Ct. R. Cr. P. 118(a); see also Hudson, 404 A.2d at 182.
É© You were never tried for the offense°Xin other words, there was no trial and your criminal record says the charge was "Dismissed," "No Papered," or "Nolle Prosequi." See D.C. Super. Ct. R. Cr. P. 118(a); see also Hudson, 404 A.2d at 182.
É©ÉnYou filed a Motion to Seal Records before the deadline of: É©Én120 days from the dismissal of the charges against you or É©Én3 years from dismissal of the charges against you if you can show the court
that there is "good cause" for an extension and that "manifest injustice" will result if you are not given an extension or É©ÉnAnytime if the government does not object to your filing late. See D.C. Super. Ct. R. Cr. P. 118(a).
É© You can prove that you are innocent of the offense you were arrested for and that the police had no other good reason to arrest you. See D.C. Super. Ct. R. Cr. P. 118(e) ("clear and convincing evidence" standard); White v. United States, 582 A.2d 1199, 1201 (D.C. 1990) (movant must show by clear and convincing evidence that offense did not occur or that he or she did not commit the offense); see also Villavicencio v. United States, 755 A.2d 436, 438 (D.C. 2000) (if arrest report shows facts sufficient to support probable cause to arrest movant for any offense, movant's innocence of offense listed on report does not entitle him or her to relief).
However, even if you do not meet all of these requirements, you should still attempt to seal your arrest record if you can prove you are innocent and will be harmed if the record is not sealed. See Rezvan, 582 A.2d at 938 (sealing is an equitable remedy so court may grant relief even where movant did not meet the requirements of Rule 118; movant could have records sealed despite being tried and acquitted if he could show clear and convincing evidence of innocence and other circumstances making it manifestly unjust not to seal the record, such as lack of probable cause, arrest in violation of other constitutional rights, or bad faith prosecution); see also United States v. Poe, 113 Daily Wash. L. Rptr. 833 (D.C. Super. Ct. 1985) (equitable nature of remedy requires that movant behave fairly and forthrightly in order to be entitled to relief).

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