What Factors Can Affect Whether The Government Will Seal My Record in DC?

If you are looking for information on sealing or expunging your record in Washington, DC, you may be wondering what factors may impact the government’s decision to seal your record. To learn more about expungement and record sealing or to speak specifically about your case, contact a DC record sealing lawyer to set up a free consultation today. However, an associate attorney with record sealing experience answers some frequently asked questions about determining factors below.

What Factors From Criminal Cases Can Impact Whether My Record is Sealed?

One is “How did that case end?” Was the person convicted? Because if they were they’re not eligible for an innocence motion. And, if they are convicted, they would have to wait much longer to apply to seal their record under interest of justice. The interest of justice motion has varying waiting periods depending on how someone’s case ended and also depending on what the person is charged with.

Also, the underlying facts of the prior case can be very important. If there are very damning facts, such as if the defendant preyed on a vulnerable person, the judge might be less amenable to sealing that person’s record because it’s just a more serious crime.

Another big factor from the prosecution phase of the case can be whether the prior attorney included any reference to record sealing in a potential plea deal. Prosecutors can waive or shorten the interest of justice waiting periods in writing, and the best time to do that is when the defense attorney is negotiating the deal with the government.

What Preemptive Measures Can I Take Before The Record Sealing Process Begins?

In an innocence case, a person could start figuring out where witnesses to the crime are now. Perhaps it’s been five or ten years since the case ended. Witnesses have moved away, witnesses have died, witnesses have become less friendly or more friendly with the client. They can start locating and talking to witnesses and ask if any of them would be willing to write a statement in support of the motion.

In an interest of justice motion, because the judges are looking to see that a person has done positive deeds since the time they were arrested or convicted, the client can start doing community service or get involved in some charitable organization. The person can try and maintain a demonstrated history of employment. There a variety of things, but really it’s just about using all of the waiting period to turn one’s life around and show it is in the interest of justice to seal the record.