Importance of an Attorney for a DC Expungement Case

The main advantages of hiring a DC expungement lawyer are, it cuts down on the work that the client would really need to do. If a client was going to try and file this motion on their own, they would need to first, research the statute, learn about the statute, figure out what a legal motion looks like, which is not something that’s common knowledge.

They would need to draft up this motion, they would have to do legal research, they would have to submit it to the court, they would have to track it on their own, they would have to conceivably negotiate with the government on their own and quite frankly the government might not be willing to negotiate with somebody – just an average person on the street at all.

Also, it allows the clients to take advantage of the training and experience of their attorney.  Somebody who went to school for three years to learn to be an attorney and then maybe interned for a year to gain more experience, you know, akin to an apprenticeship. You know maybe that person has really drilled down into record sealing matters and is just very knowledgeable about the process.

It really allows clients to both save a lot of their time and give them peace of mind that they’re working with somebody who really knows how the system works and what kind of arguments are likely to be successful in their case.

Challenges of a Record Sealing Case

A variety of things can potentially make a case challenging and quite frankly some cases will not be particularly challenging. Somebody may have had a mistaken arrest where they were just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and everybody agrees including the government after they look at it that that guy had nothing to do with the offense.That person is going to get their record sealed pretty quickly.

But for the most part, there are going to be challenges, there are hiccups along the road and it is a complicated process. You know in some states like Maryland, anybody with the record, depending on their circumstances can just go to a courthouse, get a two-page form, fill it out, pay something like $75 or $100 and have their record sealed as long as it ended in a non-conviction.

DC is not like that, there are very complicated eligibility requirements that require some training and knowledge in the record sealing statutes, so the eligibility can be a challenging piece and it can also really stop people completely from getting their record sealed.

Also, a lot of these cases, people are coming in quite a long time after the arrest or the conviction happened, so memories fade, witnesses move, evidence is destroyed, all kinds of things happen that would potentially make the case much more difficult.

And beyond that, sometimes the government is the challenge. Perhaps the person is adamant that they’re totally innocent, but the government’s only evidence is the police report that as a factual matter it is inaccurate, but as far as the government is concerned that’s all they have to go on so they’re going to oppose this innocence motion. And it might be that that report is totally inaccurate, but there’s very little that we can do other than prove that it’s inaccurate with our own evidence to get that person’s motion granted successfully or to get the government to withdraw their opposition in such a case. That can be a pretty challenging process, a time-consuming process, but one that I have a lot of experience working on here at the firm.