A criminal record can result in a lot of collateral consequences. Luckily, it is possible to get your record expunged in some situations.
You can get your criminal history expunged in Virginia if the prosecutor dropped or dismissed your charges. However, your entitlement to an expungement is revoked if you plead guilty to later discovery. You are also entitled to an expungement if a person, arrested and responsible for the misdemeanor, used your credentials or name improperly. Receiving a full pardon after your innocence is proved also means you can petition for expungement.
If you are unsure if you are eligible for an expungement, refer to an Alexandria expungement lawyer who can evaluate your situation.
Is expungement possible for convictions in Virginia?
It is only possible to get felony charges expunged and convictions are not eligible.
Expungement of a charge leads to removal of the information from police and court records so that they are not accessible by the public. An expunged charge doesn’t mean that it is completely destroyed and the law enforcement cannot take permission from the court to view them, it means that it is removed from the public eye that includes landlords, colleges and prospective employers.
The expungement procedure in Alexandria Virginia
The first step is to file a petition in the Circuit Court of the place where the charges were filed. This petition includes copies of the indictment and your fingerprints. The petition is supposed to mention the particular charge you want to get expunged. The court conducts a hearing after all the necessary criminal history documents are received. Further, they determine if the existence of the records can result in collateral consequences after which the expungement is approved.
Your charges only get expunged if the crime falls into a certain category, which includes:
- Granting of an absolute pardon
- Acquittal after trial
- Charges dropped or dismissed by the prosecutor
- A not guilty verdict in a contempt of court charge arising in a civil case
- Charges resulting the accused person’s credentials being used improperly for the crime
A misdemeanor charge is also generally granted expungement if the accused does not have a previous record of convictions. However, getting a felony charge expunged can prove to be hard. It is important that the person who is filing the petition is able to prove why it would be unjust for the court to not grant the expungement. It is, therefore, important that you refer to an experienced expungement Alexandria Virginia attorney who can help you file an effective petition.
With the rise of the internet and a growing amount of information available online that is accessible by anyone including potential employers, a criminal record can prove to be really damaging. Prospective employers, universities and landlords having access to criminal records mean that you can get denied of employment and accommodation. If you have a criminal history that is unjustly disturbing your life, refer to a skilled lawyer who is familiar with the expungement proceedings, immediately.