It's no secret that a criminal record can make everyday life considerably more difficult. From applying for employment to finding housing, a criminal record can stop you from having the quality of life you deserve.
Understanding the steps for expungement can help you get rid of the albatross around your neck and move forward to bigger and better things.
What Is Expungement?
If the court expunges your criminal record, it will no longer be visible to the general public when looking at criminal directories. Potential employers will also be unable to see your record, removing a major barrier for individuals with a criminal record. Generally, you can also tell people you have never been arrested or committed a crime if your record gets expunged.
How Does Expungement Work in Virginia?
In Virginia, your record may be eligible for expungement if:
- you were charged with a crime but acquitted at trial;
- the court dismissed the charges against you;
- another individual used your name or identification to commit a crime without your consent.
Unfortunately, Virginia is incredibly strict regarding expunging records for individuals who were convicted by a court. If a Virginia court convicted you of a crime, your record can only be expunged if:
- You were convicted of a crime you didn't commit and are pardoned as a result.
It is also worth noting that if you were convicted of a felony, but the court decided to reverse or dismiss the case, you can request that any acquired DNA evidence be purged from the state DNA database using a DNA expungement.
To file for expungement in Virginia, you should fill out a Petition for Expungement and file it with the circuit court that handled your criminal case. An expungement lawyer can help you understand whether you're eligible for expungement, how to fill out the form accurately and work with you to file it with the correct court.
At the Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, we work with Virginia residents to expunge their records.