What is an Expungement in Virginia?
If you've been charged with a crime and the charge was dismissed, it may be possible to have that charge removed from your criminal record (and from criminal background databases) by a process called Expungement. When a charge is alleged, it will appear on an individual's criminal history and, even if an order of nolle prosequi or for dismissal is entered, the charge will remain on an individual's criminal background. Charges are dropped for many reasons and §19.2-392.2 of the Code of Virginia was enacted to help innocent people avoid the hindrance of a charge affecting their ability to obtain and maintain employment and to obtain credit. Contact our Fairfax Expungement Lawyer to discuss having the charge removed from your record. We handle expungement matters in Fairfax County. We offer a Free Consultation to discuss your case. Give us a call or use the contact form below.
Expungement of police and court records: § 19.2-392.2 – If a person is charged with a crime or any offense defined in Title 18.2, and (i) is acquitted; or (ii) 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.
- A guilty plea or facts sufficient for a finding of guilt cannot have been entered in the case to be eligible for expungement.
- A deferred disposition, such as under §18.2-251 or §18.2-57.3, is not eligible for expungement. In these cases, 1st offender programs are available to allow for dismissal of the charge after terms of conditions of probation are met. While the charge will appear on the record as dismissed, it is not eligible for expungement.
- Out of Court agreed-upon tasks, such as community service, do not render a charge ineligible for expungement provided no plea was entered in the case. For example, many times a lawyer can work out a plea deal for an underage possession of alcohol charge where the individual completes a certain amount of community service for an eventual nolle prosequi of the charge. This type of situation is eligible for an expungement.
- If the Petitioner has no prior criminal record and the arrest was for a misdemeanor violation, the petitioner shall be entitled, in the absence of good cause shown to the contrary by the Commonwealth, to expungement of the police and court records pursuant to §19.2-392.2.
- Petition is filed in the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction where the charge was alleged
- Defendant brings two copies of the Petition for Expungement to the police department and gets their fingerprints done. After the fingerprint cards are completed, the police department will forward a copy of the Petition of Expungement with the fingerprint cards to the State Police to perform a criminal history check.
- Approximately 3-6 weeks later the Criminal History Check will be filed with the Court. Once filed, the Petitioner can file a Notice of Hearing date for the Petition to be set for Hearing for a Judge to decide whether the expungement should be granted (and, therefore, for the charge to be sealed).