DUI Arrest Records in DC
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Washington, DC and are nervous about other people finding out, the following is information on what you should know regarding both your record and your mug shot. For more specific information, call and schedule a consultation with a DC DUI criminal lawyer today.
Availability of Arrest Records in DC
Arrest records in DC are available to the public upon request. However, they are not made as readily accessible to the public as they are in some other jurisdictions where they might be published on a dedicated website. In DC, an individual who wants to retrieve an arrest record can go to the police, pay a small fee and get a copy of an arrest record, however, someone is not going to be able to pull up any kind of arrest record simply by typing a name into a search engine online. The records are available to the public, but it does take proactive effort to retrieve them.
Are DUI Mugshots Public in DC?
Mug shots are generally not available to the public in DC as with arrest records, an individual can retrieve incident reports and other documents associated with a case, and the incident report may have a small black and white copy of the subject’s picture. But unlike other jurisdictions around DC, the police and the prosecution do not release the mug shots of people who are arrested for the public to view except in extremely rare circumstances.
However, unlike in Virginia and Maryland, there is no dedicated website for viewing DC mug shots. They are available only in the sense that they are contained in the incident report.
Dealing With A DUI Arrest Record in DC
If someone has been arrested and his or her case is pending— or in other words, if prosecutors have followed up on the arrest by filing charges against the individual—then nothing can be done about the arrest record while the case is still pending.
If, however, an individual is arrested and no charges are brought, he or she can then immediately seek to have the arrest record expunged or sealed so that it is no longer available to the public. And even in that case, anytime someone has been arrested, that information will always be available to law enforcement. That is, sealing or expunging an arrest record from public view will not delete it entirely.
For practical purposes, a person who has not been charged, has been acquitted or has had his or her case dismissed after charges were filed can then immediately seek to have the criminal record expunged. Even if someone is arrested, charged and convicted of an offense, he or she can still later seek to have the record expunged or sealed after a certain time period and under certain conditions.
Your arrest record will remain available to the public unless you affirmatively seek to have it expunged or sealed.