Expungement Attorney in Virginia
Even if you are charged and not convicted, the stigma that comes with an arrest could cause you to lose out on important educational, employment, and housing opportunities. When you have lived a law-abiding life, or simply made mistakes as a young person, you should not be forever haunted by your involvement with the criminal justice system.
Fortunately, in Virginia, you may be entitled to seek an expungement of the records of your arrest and prosecution for criminal charges that you ultimately were not convicted for. An expungement can give you a fresh start, free of the burden of an arrest record. However, expungements are not automatically granted. For this reason, you should seek help from a skilled and experienced Virginia expungement lawyer.
Attorney Samantha Upton can handle all the legal legwork of applying for an expungement and make the whole process less stressful for you. To learn more about whether you are eligible to apply for an expungement of your record and the steps involved, contact Upton Law, PLLC today. Samantha will provide free, no-obligation consultation on your case and quote you a flat fee for how much an expungement would cost.
Qualifications for Expungement in Virginia
In Virginia, a person may be entitled to seek expungement of criminal records for charges that did not result in a conviction. Examples of records that can be expunged in Virginia include records of:
- Charges dismissed with or without prejudice
- Charges dismissed by accord and satisfaction
- Charges that resulted in a not guilty verdict
- Arrests that did not lead to convictions
- Charges for which you later received an absolute pardon
- Charges that were erroneously placed on your record due to identity theft or mistaken identity
- Juvenile convictions
An adult criminal conviction cannot be expunged in Virginia, unless you later receive an absolute pardon for the charge.
Process for Obtaining an Expungement in Virginia
You begin the process of obtaining an expungement by filing a petition with the Circuit Court in the county where your charge arose.
You will have to submit to fingerprinting along with your petition. After your petition is filed, the Commonwealth’s attorney will receive notice of your petition. The attorney will have an opportunity to object to your petition.
Ultimately, your petition may be scheduled for a hearing before the court. At a hearing, you may need to establish that good cause exists to expunge your record. A court may be willing to grant an expungement of a single misdemeanor offense without much discussion. However, you may need to show good cause to grant your petition if you have several offenses or felonies on your record.
To establish good cause, you typically must show that your record has damaged your reputation and interfered with different aspects of your life such as your ability to secure employment, housing, or educational opportunities. If the court finds that good cause exists to expunge your record, the court will grant your petition. There are times when an attorney can avoid the requirement for a hearing.
Major Expansion of Expungement Law
HB 2113: Sealing of criminal records; penalties. Establishes a process for the automatic sealing of police and court records, defined in the bill, for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed. The bill also allows a person to petition for the sealing of police and court records relating to certain convictions. The bill has staggered delayed effective dates in order to develop systems for implementing the provisions of the bill. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission and is identical to SB 1339.Contact Samantha