Waiting Period for Expungment in DC

Below is information on how long record sealing cases in Washington, DC typically take and how soon after an arrest you can have your record sealed. To learn more about record sealing or to find out if you are eligible, schedule a free consultation with a DC expungement lawyer today.

Waiting Time Before Your Record

As with many things in the law, the answer is it depends; on an innocence claim, a person becomes eligible to file a record sealing motion as soon as the judge dismisses the case or finds the person not guilty or the government declines to charge the person of a crime. As soon as the underlying criminal case is over and it ends without a conviction, that person is eligible to file an innocence claim.

The waiting periods in the interest of justice motion are two years, four years, or eight years on a basic single offense motion. However, if a person, for example, has what’s called an eligible misdemeanor non-conviction, typically they would only have to wait two years to seal that from the time the case ended. But, if in another state they were convicted of some other crime, they might – a ten-year or additional waiting period will be done in those two years and change it to a seven-year waiting period or a twelve-year waiting period.

However, this is all very fact specific and it’s going to vary from client to client based on their criminal record and a variety of other factors. But generally speaking, it’s going to be somewhere between two and four years for a non-conviction and eight years for a conviction.

When to File a Record Sealing Request Following An Arrest

Most clients who were arrested, but not charged with the crime would be advised to wait a few months to see if the government is going to change their mind and perhaps bring charges. An attorney will not want to do anything on our end that would call attention to this arrest such as, perhaps, a police officer forgets to turn in a police report so the person is never charged with a crime.

On the interest of justice side, the waiting period is a much, much more complicated and they’re really based on both what is the offense that the person is looking to seal, how did that case actually end and does that person have any other arrests or cases on their record.