Virginia record expungement
Before trying to get your record expunged in Virginia, it is important to note that in Virginia expungement is only available to people who have been found innocent of the charge, or if a nolle prosequi is taken, or the charge is somehow dismissed, including dismissal by accord and to the satisfaction pursuant to 19.2-151. Also, if you are granted an absolute pardon for the crime for which you have been unjustly convicted, you have the opportunity to file a petition, explaining all the relevant facts and requesting expungement of the police records and the court records that relate to the case and charges. Also, if someone else has unlawfully used your name and has been convicted of a crime using your name you may apply for expungement.
This means that you cannot file an expungement petition if you had plead guilty to any charge.
If you qualify for expungement, you have to file a petition first and have a copy of either the warrant or indictment with the circuit court where the case took place. It must have in it the date of the arrest and the police agency involved in the arrest, what you were charged with, the date the case was finished, your date of birth, and your full name at the time you were arrested. The court will then send a copy to the commonwealth of the city or county where you filed your petition. The attorney of the commonwealth will respond to the petition before the three weeks.
After that, you must then provide the agency who arrested you with a copy of your petition, and request that the arresting agency send it along with a set of your fingerprints to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, who will then in turn send a copy of your criminal record, your fingerprints, and your petition to the court for expungement.
Once they receive your criminal history record information from the CCRE, the court will have a hearing based on your petition. If the court finds that the continued existence and possible giving out of information relating to the arrest of the petitioner causes or may cause circumstances which amount to a apparent injustice to the petitioner, it will enter an order requiring the expungement of the police and court records relating to the charge. Otherwise, your petition will be denied. However, if the petitioner has a clean criminal record and the arrest was for a misdemeanor, the person petitioning will be entitled, in the lack of good cause shown to the contrary by the Commonwealth, to expungement of all the police and court records regarding arrest, and the court will expunge your record.
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