When you’re charged with a crime, it remains in police and court records — even if you were acquitted. That means a potential employer can see you were once charged with DUI, for instance, even if the court dismissed the case. Fortunately, it’s possible to request an expungement, which means your public records will be cleared.
Here are the three things you need to know about expungements in Virginia.1. In Virginia, Expungements Are only Available for Certain Cases
You can request your record be expunged if:
- You were acquitted of the charge (found not guilty)
- Your charges were nol prossed (nolle prosequi), which means the prosecutor chose not to continue the prosecution
- Your charges were dismissed (except for delayed imposition dismissal, in which charges are dismissed after you complete certain court-ordered conditions)
- You received an absolute pardon
- Your name was used in error or your identity was stolen by a defendant in a court case
Expungements are only available to people who are innocent of the crimes they were charged with. If you pleaded no contest (nolo contendere), or received a lesser pardon, those records aren’t eligible for expungement.3. A Qualified Attorney Can Help You Succeed in Your Request for Expungement
Requesting an expungement isn’t as simple as making a phone call. You’ll need to be fingerprinted, pay a fee and file multiple forms and documents with the court, along with a petition of expungement for each charge. Then, a court hearing’s set. It’s a long and complicated process, and that’s why you should get legal help.
Margaret B. Davis is an affordable criminal defense attorney in Richmond, Virginia, who can help clients successfully petition for an expungement of their records. Call or text (804) 354-8800 anytime for a confidential, free consultation.