Evidence Needed in DC Expungement Cases

If you are contemplating requesting an expungement or sealing of your records, you may be wondering what kind of evidence and arguments you are permitted to present in court. Below, an attorney answers some questions about DC record sealing. For more information, contact a DC expungement lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.

Types of Evidence in DC Expungement Cases

First off, you can absolutely present new evidence. Particularly in an interest of justice motion, most of the evidence is about things that have happened since the time the person was arrested or convicted of a crime. In those cases, almost all of the evidence is new evidence.

In the innocence claims, people are certainly welcome to provide new evidence and those affidavit statements are absolutely new evidence, but an attorney can also hire investigators and we work with very talented investigators with this firm who have a lot of training and experience to go out and re-interview witnesses that maybe the police didn’t quite get the true story from and we can introduce those witnesses statements. Or maybe they can get a video from a private establishment that shows that the client didn’t actually commit the crime that they are said to have committed, things like that. But all of that evidence is admissible in a record sealing case.

Arguments That May be Used

Typically, the interest of justice type of case is more common simply because it’s often difficult for a client to prove innocence even in cases where they were never convicted.

In a case where the client was convicted of a crime, they’re not even eligible to file an innocence motion, so that eliminates that possibility for many, many clients. But even if they were not convicted of the crime, there’s a difference between not being guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a legal standard that is required to convict somebody of a crime and being factually innocent of the crime.

A classic example of that would be if the government committed some sort of constitutional violation-what some people call a technical violation- that allows the person to be found not guilty, but factually speaking the person actually was guilty. You know factually speaking they did punch somebody in the face or attack somebody with a weapon, they just weren’t convicted. They wouldn’t be eligible for an innocence case either.

The interest of justice cases, on the other hand, most people are going to be eligible for those. Anybody who is not convicted of any crime would be eligible provided they don’t have other criminal cases that affect – that would prevent them from filing.

And so would clients who have certain misdemeanor convictions, which is a big difference between the innocence and the interest of justice. Many people with a conviction can still file for an interest of justice motion. So it tends to be somewhere between 70% and 80% of the cases we filed as far as record sealing goes.