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DUI Expungement in D.C.

In Washington D.C., a DWI/DUI/OWI conviction can be expunged. Typically for a misdemeanor charge, a person can seek to have their record sealed after a two year period. However DWI/DUI/OWI charges are explicitly distinguished from other misdemeanors. If the driver was arrested but the charges were dropped, or he/she was acquitted, the person’s record can be sealed only after five years. If the driver was convicted, a petition to seal his/her record can only be made after 10 years. These limitations are placed by D.C Code §16-801.

In both instances, the driver must make a motion to seal publicly available records of the arrest and all related court proceedings. The Superior Court grants motions to seal for drivers arrested or drivers convicted of DUI/DWI/OWI, if it is in the interests of justice to do so.  In deciding whether to seal the defendant’s record, the court weighs various considerations, including the interest of the defendant, his/her rehabilitation, the nature of the offense and the community’s interest in retaining access to the records, etc.


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