Expungement is the removal of police and court records of a person charged with a crime (but not convicted) from public view and only can be viewed by a law enforcement officer after they take permission from the court.
Why should you get your charges expunged?
A criminal record that is available to the general public that includes prospective employers, educational institutes and landlords can lead to a lot of collateral consequences. Fortunately, it is possible to get your charges expunged in some situations.
However, an expunged charge does not mean that the records are completely destroyed and the law enforcement is not allowed to view them after taking permission from the court. It just means that the charges are removed from the public eye that includes landlords, colleges, and prospective employers.
Who is eligible for an expungement in Petersburg Virginia?
Under the VA. Code § 19.2-392.2, a person would be eligible for expungement in Virginia if:
- They are acquitted
- A nolle prosequiis taken or the charge is otherwise dismissed or;
- Their name or other identification was used without their consent by someone else charged for using the same name or identification.
However, there are certain cases where the court can refuse your petition, it is therefore important that you seek an experienced expungement lawyer to help you with your case.
The procedure for expungement of charges in Petersburg Virginia:
Seeking an expungement in Petersburg Virginia involves filing a civil suit against the Commonwealth in the Circuit Court. You are supposed to give certain information in the civil suit including information regarding the charge as well as why you are eligible for the expungement.
After paying the charges of filing a civil suit, you are supposed to take a copy of the suit to get your fingerprints taken at a local police department. They will perform a background check and send it to the Circuit Court.
After the Circuit Court receives all your documents, they hold a hearing so you can persuade the judge as to why your charges should be expunged.
If your expungement gets accepted, the state agencies seal the public records which can take a time of more than a few weeks to months.
If the Court does not grant you expungement, you can appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.
Can you get convictions expunged in Petersburg Virginia?
Convictions are not eligible for expungement and you can only get felony charges expunged.
Potential employers, educational institutes and landlords being able to view criminal records means that you can get denied of employment and accommodation opportunities. Considering the consequences of a criminal record being available to potential employers, universities, and landlords, it is important that you refer to a skilled Virginia Expungement Attorney.
If your criminal history is unjustly disturbing your life, refer a skilled lawyer who is familiar with the expungement proceedings immediately to assess your case and help you throughout the expungement process.