Helping DC Residents Put the Past Behind Them
For thousands of men and women in Washington, DC, a criminal record is a substantial burden that thwarts their best efforts to thrive. A criminal record poses barriers to obtaining housing, professional licenses, financial aid, citizenship, public benefits, admission into the military, as well as quality work.
The LSIC Expungement Clinic, launched on September 14, 2015, guides low-income residents of the District through the complicated legal process to clear their criminal records. The clinic is one of the only services in Washington, DC where indigent or low means individuals can seek free attorney representation to seal their criminal record and put the past behind them.
HOW THE CLINIC WORKS
The clinic provides free eligibility determinations and representation for indigent participants in Washington, D.C. who have a criminal arrest, charge, or conviction that they wish to seal.
Attorneys hold intakes to determine the participant’s record sealing eligibility. If the case is determined eligible, we will connect participants with an attorney who will represent the client by filing a motion with the court and handling any hearings or opposition motions that may occur as a result. An attorney will follow the case through resolution.
Clients are encouraged to bring their government-issued I.D. and paperwork to the intake. If they do not have their paperwork, we will give instructions for obtaining their criminal record.
WHO DO WE SERVE
We serve a range of low-income residents—from individuals who were merely arrested for crimes they did not commit to those who have served their time for crimes.
In 2015, residents of the District were subject to over 36,000 arrests and more than 10,300 criminal cases did not lead to a conviction in DC criminal court. All of the individuals involved in these reported cases, as well as people who have completed a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction eight or more years ago, are eligible to have their criminal records sealed.*
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
LSIC is partnering with area law firms to conduct monthly pro bono trainings and work opportunities on expungement cases. We also welcome partnerships with and referrals from social services organizations to help reach more individuals in need.
Please contact staff attorney Adrian Madsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download program flyer here.
[*] DC Metropolitan Police Department 2015 Annual Report and District of Columbia Courts 2015 statistical summary, respectively.