Virginia Expungement Lawyer

A conviction for a violation of Virginia’s criminal code can have severe repercussions. In fact, simply being arrested for a crime will create a criminal record that can negatively affect an individual’s job prospects, housing options, and eligibility for government services.

While a person cannot petition the court to remove any mention of a criminal conviction from their record, in specific circumstances, the law allows an individual to ask the court to wipe their record clean if the charges ended with an acquittal or dismissal.

A Virginia expungement lawyer may be able to help clients with this process. Experienced attorneys work to evaluate an individual’s situation to determine if they qualify for the program, to file the necessary paperwork, and to argue for the motion in court.

When an Individual is Eligible for a Criminal Record Expungement

Virginia law allows people to ask a court to expunge their criminal record if they were acquitted of a criminal accusation or if the prosecutor in the case dismissed the charges. According to VA Code §19.2-392.2, the court is required to hold a hearing concerning the petitioner’s request.

However, the statute also states that if the petitioner has no prior criminal record, and the requested arrest concerns a misdemeanor level offense, that the court assume that the petition is valid. The Commonwealth of Virginia then bears the burden of arguing against the motion. A Virginia expungement lawyer could help clients to determine if they qualify to file these motions in court.

Preparing to Request an Expungement

Requesting an expungement is a highly technical process. Petitioners must follow every step of the process or risk having their motion denied.

First, a petitioner must obtain the following items:

  1. A copy of the warrant or indictment
  2. The petition motion that includes the charge to be expunged, the date of the end of the case in court, the petitioner’s date of birth, and full name
  3. A set of official fingerprints from the law enforcement agency that made the arrest

All this information must be sent to the court that will hear the petition as well as to the law enforcement agency that made the arrest and the local prosecutor’s office. This petition must be served upon the prosecutor’s office.

Finally, the court will conduct a hearing on the matter. A petitioner must be prepared to argue how the expungement will improve their quality of life as well as how they have made efforts to follow the law. A Virginia expungement lawyer could help clients to gather the necessary paperwork, to draft the petition, and to argue the case in court.

Talk to a Virginia Expungement Attorney Today

Virginia’s criminal laws state that an arrest for a charge will remain on an individual’s criminal record indefinitely. While actual convictions can never be removed, any case that ends in an acquittal or other form of innocence may be removed upon a petitioner’s motion.

This expungement can allow an individual to get a fresh start on life without the stigma of an arrest on their past. However, the process for requesting the expungement can be complex. It involves gathering vital information, writing a motion, and appearing in court.

A Virginia expungement lawyer could help with each of these tasks. An attorney is dedicated to helping wrongly accused individuals to get their lives back on track. Contact an attorney today to learn more.