Want to clean up your record? Call us to help you navigate expungement. An expungement is a process whereby we can petition the court to remove arrests and dismissed charges from your record. ***The records are not destroyed and are still visible if the judge gives permission (for example, to a law enforcement officer). However, they are removed from public view, so that they will not show up on background checks.***
YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD
In order to obtain your criminal record, you will have to complete a “Criminal History Record Check” application form. This application is available at your local police department and/or by contacting the Virginia State Police department. You can also complete the application via the internet. To obtain your criminal record, you have to send your application to: Virginia State Police Central Criminal Records Exchange P. O. Box 85076 Richmond, VA 23261-5076 There is a $15.00 - $20.00 charge for obtaining your criminal record. This fee is subject to change. If you are requesting your criminal record by mail, please allow time for them to process your request.
What kinds of records are eligible for expungement?
- Dismissals with prejudice
- Dismissals without prejudice (nolle prosequi)
- Dismissals by accord and satisfaction
- Not guilty findings
- Arrests that did not lead to a conviction.
- Charges for which you later receive an absolute pardon.
- Charges on your record which were a case of mistaken identity or identity fraud
- Juvenile convictions
If you were arrested, but were ultimately not convicted, the arrest and the charge will still show up on your criminal background check. In Virginia, you can petition the court to have these records removed. However, in Virginia, you can never expunge a criminal conviction. That means that if you were convicted of a crime in the past, no matter how minor or how long ago, in Virginia, it will be on your record permanently.
RECORDS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR EXPUNGEMENT:
- Convictions after trial
- Convictions after plea bargain
- Convictions after a no contest, or "Alford" plea
- ANY conviction
HOW EXPUNGEMENTS WORK
In order to have your record expunged, a petition must be filed in the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction where you were originally charged. You will need to be fingerprinted, and there is a waiting period. During that waiting period, the Commonwealth's Attorney receives a copy of the petition, and has an opportunity to object. Your fingerprints are sent to the CCRE (central records in Virginia) and your record is pulled. Then, the petition is scheduled for a hearing.
At the hearing, you and your attorney must demonstrate good cause as to why you deserve to have your record expunged. Examples are difficulty gaining or keeping employment and damage to your reputation. Additionally, you have to demonstrate innocence. If you have a clean record, and the expunged record was a misdemeanor, it is generally easier to convince the judge to grant your expungement. If you have several convictions and arrests on your record, or are seeking to have a felony record removed, it can be more difficult.
The Commonwealth may object to the record being expunged for several reasons, and an experienced attorney will consult with them beforehand to prepare counter-arguments. As a Virginia criminal defense lawyer for several years, I am well-versed in expungement procedures and am ready to champion your rights and allow you to move on with your life.
Most expungements will cost around $1,500, although each case differs according to the individual facts and circumstances, and the jurisdiction. In additional to making the process painless and rewarding for my clients, we also counsel them about a separate process - cleaning your record on the internet. Although your record may be removed from public view in the jurisdiction we file a petition in, there are hundreds of websites which exist to catalog and store information about your criminal background. Therefore, it is imperative that my clients take this additional step in order to fully clean their record.
Code of Virginia § 19.2-392.2. Expungement of police and court records.
A. If a person is charged with the commission of a crime or any offense defined in Title 18.2, and
1. Is acquitted, or
2. A nolle prosequi is taken or the charge is otherwise dismissed, including dismissal by accord and satisfaction pursuant to §19.2-151, he may file a petition setting forth the relevant facts and requesting expungement of the police records and the court records relating to the charge.
B. If any person whose name or other identification has been used without his consent or authorization by another person who has been charged or arrested using such name or identification, he may file a petition with the court disposing of the charge for relief pursuant to this section. Such person shall not be required to pay any fees for the filing of a petition under this subsection. A petition filed under this subsection shall include one complete set of the petitioner's fingerprints obtained from a law-enforcement agency.