DC Vacatur Toolkit: Removing Criminal Records for Trafficking Survivors
After the passage of the DC Trafficking Survivors Relief Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 18-2391), Amara began working on guidance to make sure the DC legal community is prepared to put the criminal record relief to good use for trafficking survivors. In short, the law allows for convictions to be vacated and expungement or sealing of criminal records for certain offenses when the conduct of the person was the direct result of the person having been a victim of trafficking.
With critical funding provided by DC’s Office of Victims Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) and in partnership with McGuireWoods, Amara completed work on an extensive toolkit to guide legal service providers in requesting vacatur and expungement relief for trafficking survivors. This work represents Amara’s continued efforts to educate the community about the availability of vacatur in DC, clarifying how to determine a client’s eligibility for vacatur, expungement, or sealing, and explaining the process for obtaining vacatur, expungement, or sealing.
While the District of Columbia previously had general laws providing for record sealing, the 2018 Trafficking Survivors Act provides more powerful tools through access to vacatur and expungement. Under this new law, ten petitions for vacatur of convictions have been filed, all of which were granted.
Amara is dedicated to identifying individuals who might benefit from DC vacatur. If you know someone who as a result from being trafficked has a conviction on their record, submit a referral today!