A criminal record can haunt you. Having even a misdemeanor case reported on your record might jeopardize future educational, housing and career opportunities. Making a single youthful mistake or bad decision doesn’t necessarily mean that your future plans are at risk, though. Virginia’s laws provide a way to clear certain cases and arrests from your record through the process of expungement.
What is expungement?
Expungement is a method by which arrests and misdemeanor criminal records of arrest are removed from a person’s criminal record. Not all criminal charges are eligible for expungement, but the process can still be helpful, because having fewer records of arrest convictions can make a big difference.
Once a conviction has been expunged, it will be more unlikely to be discoverable by civilian internet searches, and is not required to be disclosed to future potential employers, lenders, educational institutions or housing providers in Virginia. For most intents and purposes, expungement wipes the criminal slate clean, making it appear like the criminal case never happened.
Anyone seeking to expunge a criminal record in Virginia needs to complete a detailed Petition, submit to being fingerprinted, undergo an additional criminal history check performed by the state police, pay a fee (dependent upon the jurisdiction wherein the application is filed) and notify police authorities. There are variations in the types of petitions for expungement based on whether the underlying offense was dismissed, you were acquitted or you were the victim of identity theft.
To some, this may seem straightforward, but it is an exacting process; someone not familiar with the minutiae can easily make crucial mistakes.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney well-versed in navigation of the legal system can make the entire expungement process much less stressful and can increase your chances of having your application granted the first time around, with no need to resubmit it once you have made technical revisions. Since there are limitations on the types of offenses that can be expunged under Virginia law, one is well advised to be led through the process by someone skilled.
Do you or someone you love need help seeking an expungement of your Virginia criminal record? Do you need more information about the process, or the types of convictions that can be expunged? If so, seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area.
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Dear Mr. Brillantine and Mr. Smith,
Thank you so much for your time and effort in the past several weeks. I am forever grateful for your help! Thank you.- Previous Client
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I just wanted to drop you a note to express my thanks and appreciation for your professional and courteous help and service. The efficient way you and your staff handled my case, resulted in less anxiety for me.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
We just want to thank you for all your help in our son’s recent traffic case. Things were looking extremely bleak. However, thanks to your knowledge of the law, persistence, ability to talk to people, hard work and grace … What a relief it has been. We also appreciate the courtesy and professionalism of your wonderful staff.- Previous Client
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I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you for representing me earlier this month when I went back to court to obtain my restricted license. I appreciate the courtesy and professionalism from you and your staff and under no circumstances hope to ever need your services for a serious matter like that again.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for all your help. Please extend my thanks also to Martin for his patient support of an incoherent client, as well as to Lisa for her many phone calls. Thanks for that usually elusive gift … a second chance.- Previous Client
I can’t thank you enough for everything. If it weren’t for you I would be in a world of hurt today. I owe you so many thanks. If you ever need anything!! Please pass along all my thanks to your staff and co-workers. Please let Lisa I’m so sorry you missed her lunch too. Thanks again Ron you ROCK!- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for your help with my recent difficult situation. I was amazed at your skill and knowledge of the court system, and appreciative of your insight in these matters. I can look back on this experience as a valuable lesson and continue on with my life. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.- Previous Client