Many believe that a dismissed charge automatically falls off their criminal record. This is not true. Don’t think it matters? Many employers perform simple background checks and overlook potential candidates because of a past charge even when that charge has been dismissed.
In order to have a charge removed from these lists one must file for an expungement in the Circuit Court in which the charge originated. But not everyone under Virginia Law is eligible for an expungement. HERE IS WHAT IS REQUIRED:
- THE CHARGE MUST BE DISMISSED ON THE MERITS OR BY MOTION OF THE DEFENSE OR PROSECUTION- Many cases that come before the Court are dismissed on first offender grounds. This means that you agreed that the evidence was sufficient to convict and opted to have the case continued and later dismissed by completing community service, drug, alcohol or anger management classes. If this is the case you are not entitled to an expungement.
- NO OTHER CRIMINAL HISTORY - The Court may require you to show that the existence of the charge in some way materially affects you. Often times, the Commonwealth will object to expunge your dismissed charge if you have other convictions. In this case, you must be able to present credible evidence suggesting that the existence of this charge on your record materially affects you. The most common theme presented is on the grounds that the dissemination of this charge effects your ability to maintain or find employment.
As with any case, your ability to be successful on the merits of your request for expungement relies upon the ability of your attorney to present a well- reasoned argument and to present to favorable evidence. If we can help you with this or any other matter please give us a call.