Virginia Expungement Law
Virginia Expungement Attorneys
A conviction in Virginia’s criminal justice system can have serious consequences, including the creation of a criminal record that can adversely affect employment opportunities, housing options, and eligibility for government services. However, individuals have the option to seek expungement under certain circumstances, where they can ask the court to erase their criminal record if the charges resulted in an acquittal or dismissal.
To navigate the expungement process, individuals can seek the assistance of a Virginia expungement lawyer. These experienced attorneys evaluate the individual’s situation to determine their eligibility for expungement, assist with the necessary paperwork, and advocate for the expungement motion in court.
Eligibility for Criminal Record Expungement
Virginia law permits individuals to request expungement if they were acquitted of criminal charges or if the prosecutor dismissed the charges. According to VA Code §19.2-392.2, the court must hold a hearing to consider the petitioner’s request. However, the statute also specifies that if the petitioner has no prior criminal record and the requested expungement relates to a misdemeanor offense, the court assumes the validity of the petition, placing the burden of arguing against the motion on the Commonwealth of Virginia. To determine if they qualify to file a motion for expungement, individuals can consult a NoVa expungement lawyer.
Preparing for an Expungement Request
Requesting an expungement is a highly technical process that requires strict adherence to the necessary steps to avoid the denial of the motion. Petitioners must obtain the following items:
Copy of the warrant or indictment
- Petition motion containing the charge to be expunged, the date of case conclusion in court, the petitioner’s date of birth, and full name
- Official set of fingerprints from the arresting law enforcement agency
- All these documents must be submitted to the court assigned to hear the petition, as well as to the arresting law enforcement agency and the local prosecutor’s office. The petition must also be served upon the prosecutor’s office.
Finally, the court will conduct a hearing to consider the expungement. Petitioners should be prepared to present arguments on how the expungement will improve their quality of life and demonstrate their commitment to following the law. A Virginia expungement lawyer can assist clients in gathering the necessary documentation, drafting the petition, and presenting the case in court.
Consult a Virginia Expungement Attorney
Virginia’s criminal laws dictate that an arrest charge remains on an individual’s criminal record indefinitely. However, cases resulting in acquittal or other forms of innocence can be removed through a petitioner’s motion for expungement.
Expungement provides individuals with a fresh start, free from the stigma of an arrest on their record. However, the expungement process can be complex, involving the collection of essential information, the drafting of a motion, and court appearances.
By seeking the guidance of a Virginia expungement lawyer, individuals can receive valuable assistance throughout the process. These attorneys are dedicated to helping wrongly accused individuals rebuild their lives. Reach out to an attorney today to learn more about expungement.