How do I get information on an arrest that occurs in the District of Columbia?
When someone is arrested in the District of Columbia, you will be scheduled to appear for arraignment or presentment in DC Superior Court. Depending upon the time of your arrest your case may be heard the same day as your arrest or may be heard the following day with the exception of Sunday when court is not in session.
After Being Arrested
When a person is arrested, the prosecutor may file one or more of the following types of charges: felony, US misdemeanor, DC misdemeanor or criminal traffic. US misdemeanors are the more serious misdemeanor charges and are prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office. US misdemeanor charges may include: misdemeanor drug possession, simple assault, threats to do bodily harm, prostitution, and a variety of other charges. Felonies and US misdemeanors are referred to as US matters. Please be advised that the DC Superior Court Criminal Customer Service Office does not provide any information or paperwork regarding an arrest after 2011 that may have resulted in the prosecuting agency declining to proceed with prosecution (also known as “Arrest Only” or “No Paper”).
After arrest an individual is taken to a police district where they are identified, charged, and booked. The defendant may be:
- Released on citation
The defendant is given a future date to appear in court and is required to sign a form acknowledging the requirement to appear in court.
- Released on bond
A bond is imposed to ensure that the defendant appears in Court. Upon the posting of the bond, the defendant is given a date to return to court. If the defendant subsequently fails to appear, the bond may be forfeited and a warrant may be issued for the defendant's arrest.
- Post and forfeit
if someone is arrested in the District of Columbia for certain traffic and a number of lower level criminal offenses, the DC Code allows the defendant to post and forfeit the collateral rather than having to appear in court, thus waiving his or her right to a trial. To post and forfeit is not an admission or adjudication of guilt as far as the Court is concerned.
Please be advised that the DC Superior Court Criminal Customer Service Office does not provide any information or paperwork regarding an arrest after 2011 that may have resulted in the prosecuting agency declining to proceed with prosecution (also known as “Arrest Only” or “No Paper”).