District of Columbia

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D.C. Act 22-1844

Survivors of trafficking may vacate convictions for a wide range of offenses including all misdemeanor offenses, non-violent felonies and specifically enumerated violent felony offenses. Though there is no explicit time restriction, survivors of trafficking must have fully served their sentence before seeking this type of relief. D.C. law also allows survivors to expunge the records of arrests that didn’t result in convictions.

Through the motion, survivors are required to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that their offenses were committed “as a direct result” of trafficking. Though not required, survivors may provide official documentation from law enforcement stating that they were a victim of trafficking to create a presumption. The law also makes clear that the court can grant a motion based solely on the facts of an affidavit from the survivor.

Importantly, confidentiality is expressly protected. A hearing is only required if the prosecution objects but the court may grant relief in spite of prosecutor’s objection so long as they had notice that the relief was being sought.


Updated Sept 2021

District of Columbia State-Specific Resources

DC Vacatur Toolkit (revised February 2021)

This webpage was produced by Freedom Network USA under Grant Number 2017-VT-BX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.