Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

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Sealing Criminal Records in the Superior Court

Several years ago the District of Columbia enacted "the criminal records sealing act" (DC code section 16-801) that expands the number of people eligible to seal their arrest and related records. Sealing a criminal record is not automatic. You must file a motion to seal records of the courts and a judicial officer will decide whether to grant your request to seal your criminal record.

If your case was no papered by the Office of United States Attorney for the District Of Columbia that means they have decided not to proceed with a criminal prosecution against you. If a case is "no papered" that does not preclude them from prosecuting the case later.

Even though your case has been no papered and you do not have a conviction you do have an arrest record. An arrest record is a record and a law enforcement database contains your name, the date of your arrest, the charges, and personal information such as your date of birth.

It is possible to seal your arrest record to prevent others from gaining access that part of your criminal record. If you have convictions or other arrests that you have not sealed, they will still appear on your criminal background.

If you are interested in sealing your Superior Court criminal record, please bring me a copy of your police and court records. You can obtain your criminal records in Washington DC from the DC Superior Court criminal information and finance office located at 500 Indiana Ave. NW., room 4001, Washington DC 20001. The telephone number is 202-879-1373 and their facsimile is 202-879-1371. There you can pick up criminal records, a bond refund, subpoenas, dispositions on cases. There is no charge to pick up your criminal record.

Next a written motion needs to be filed in the Superior Court within 120 days from the date the charges were dismissed. I can help you with this or you can pick up a sample motion and instructions on how to file a motion by visiting the Public Defender Service located at 633 Indiana Ave. NW. room 248A, Washington DC. You can call 202-628-1200.
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