Expungement Lawyer in Richmond, VA
Criminal charges on your record – even if you were later acquitted – can still seriously impact many areas of your life, including your ability to land a job, apply for housing, or pursue educational opportunities. If you are a law-abiding citizen, you should not have to constantly live under the shadow of the charges brought against you.
In some cases, you may be able to obtain relief through what is known as an expungement. An expungement can enable you to start over and shed the burden that the criminal history has put on your life.
However, obtaining an expungement is not easy. That’s why it is critical that you seek out the services of a Richmond-based expungement attorney. Criminal defense attorney Samantha Upton of Upton Law, PLLC, has the knowledge and resources to handle your expungement from start to finish, taking the burden of navigating the process off your shoulders.
The law firm of Upton Law, PLLC, offers a free, no-risk case evaluation and will quote you a flat fee upfront regarding how much your expungement will cost. Contact Samantha today for a free consultation.
What Is Expungement?
A person who was arrested and charged with a crime may obtain an expungement of those records as long as they were not convicted of that crime. The expungement process entails sealing the court records in that person’s case, so they are shielded from public view.
While the records are not destroyed, they are only available by court order after an expungement.
Qualifications for Expungement in Richmond
You may qualify for expungement in Richmond if you were:
- Charged with a crime but received an absolute pardon
- Charged with a crime but had the charges dismissed with or without prejudice
- Charged with a crime but had the charges dismissed by accord and satisfaction
- Charged with a crime but were later acquitted
- Arrested for a crime but were never convicted
- Charged with a crime by mistake due to identity theft or mistaken identity
- Convicted in juvenile court
Process for Obtaining an Expungement
To seek an expungement in Richmond, you must file a petition with the circuit court where the charges against you were initially filed. You must also agree to be fingerprinted at that time. The Commonwealth’s Attorney will be notified once your petition has been filed and will get a chance to challenge your petition.
The court where you filed your petition may grant a hearing where you can explain why you believe your record should be expunged. In some cases, if you consult with an attorney, you might be able to circumvent the hearing.
You need to demonstrate good cause because even if a judge is sympathetic to your case, they can grant an expungement only if you meet the proper qualifications. Demonstrating good cause usually entails showing the court how the charges brought against you have disrupted your life and negatively impacted your ability to get a job, find housing, pursue an education, and more.
The severity of the charges against you may also affect your ability to obtain an expungement. If you were charged with a misdemeanor, you might not have much trouble getting your record expunged. But if you were accused of multiple crimes or any felonies, you may find seeking an expungement more difficult. That’s why it is critical to have an experienced expungement attorney in your corner as your advocate.
Following are some of the most common questions our clients have about expungement and their options in Richmond:
What does an expungement do?
When your record is expunged, it is essentially sealed from public view. That does not mean that the records have been erased or destroyed, but rather that they are only accessible by certain entities through a court order, such as law enforcement. After your record is expunged, your criminal charges will no longer appear in criminal background checks, which may better enable you to pursue employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
What records are not eligible for expungement in Richmond?
If you were convicted of a crime as an adult in Richmond, the records of the conviction do not qualify for expungement. Even when you can obtain an expungement, it’s important to note that your arrest or juvenile records may still be held by private companies that are not required to seal the records even with the expungement order in place. However, you may still be able to get those companies to shield the records from public view.
Can felonies be expunged?
In Virginia, misdemeanor and felony charge records can be expunged if you qualify for expungement. For instance, if you were charged with a felony and later acquitted, you could have those records expunged.
Should I get a lawyer for expungement?
While hiring an attorney is not required, having an experienced expungement attorney in your corner to help you navigate the legal process and represent your interests throughout court proceedings could significantly improve your chances of obtaining the expungement you seek.
How a Richmond Expungement Lawyer Can Help You
Richmond expungement attorney Samantha Upton has the experience and skills to walk you through every step of the expungement process, provide you with sound legal advice, and work tirelessly to seek the expungement you deserve.
When you work with Upton Law, PLLC, Samantha will:
- Candidly discuss your case with you and evaluate your chances of obtaining the expungement you seek
- Draft your petition and file all the necessary documents on your behalf
- Aggressively represent you and your interests throughout the expungement process
- Advocate for your right to expungement and demonstrate good cause as to why the court should expunge your record
Our firm will always be upfront about the cost of seeking expungement and will charge you an agreed-upon flat fee. Upton Law, PLLC, will never charge you extra fees simply for consulting with your attorney.
Talk to a Virginia Expungement Attorney Now
If your criminal record negatively affects your life and career, then it may be time to determine whether you qualify for an expungement. Contact the Richmond expungement law office of Upton Law, PLLC, today for a free and confidential case evaluation.