Expungement Lawyer in Fairfax
Virginia Expungement & Criminal Record Sealing Laws
If you were arrested and/or convicted of a crime, that information gets put on your criminal record. When you apply for a job, higher education, housing, or credit, the agency may run a background check and see your record, which could affect the final decision. Fortunately, Virginia recognizes the hurdles you could face because of an arrest or conviction and offers a form of relief called an expungement that wipes away the offense information.
In Virginia, if you are granted an expungement your criminal record is wiped clean of qualifying offenses. That means the information must be destroyed, and law enforcement agencies cannot disclose it to anyone unless the person has a court order.
If you apply for a job, higher education, or certain positions with state or local governments, officials working for the institution cannot require you to report any information about a crime that has been expunged. Additionally, if you are asked about the expunged offense, you do not have to answer. The only time you may be required to report it is if you are applying for employment with a law enforcement agency. Additionally, an attorney for the Commonwealth may petition to have expunged information disclosed if it is needed for a pending criminal investigation.
Virginia Expungement Law
As of March 2021, transformative legislation has passed allowing the automatic sealing of charges that were dismissed as well as for nine types of misdemeanor convictions that are at least 7 years old. It also allows for petition-based sealing for other types of misdemeanor and felony convictions. Prior to this, Virginia did not allow any records for convictions to be cleared. Those who were not convicted for a crime could the record expunged, but they were required to file a civil suit in court, get fingerprinted at a law enforcement agency, and then needed convince a judge that the keeping the record open would be an injustice. The court still had the ability to deny the request.
Am I Eligible for Expungements in Virginia?
Unfortunately, not all offenses qualify to be cleared. The law only applies in certain circumstances.
You may be eligible to petition for an expungement if you were charged with a crime and:
- Your case was dismissed, or
- You were the victim of identity theft and the person actually criminally charged used your information without consent
If your offense qualifies for an expungement, you must petition the court in the city or county where your case was acquitted or dismissed. A copy of your request will be served to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the city or county, and they have 21 days to respond.
After filing your petition, you may be scheduled for a hearing, during which a judge will decide whether or not to grant your expungement. If it is granted, your criminal record will be cleared.
The Law Office of Ann Thayer, PLLC Record Sealing Legal Counsel
Going through the process of getting your criminal record expunged can be complicated. You must petition the court, have pertinent information ready, and may be required to attend a hearing. When you're seeking to get a second chance in life, trying to go through the complexities alone could be frustrating. That is why our expungement attorney in Fairfaix at The Law Office of Ann Thayer, PLLC is here to provide the skilled legal guidance you need to navigate this process. Attorney Ann Thayer has extensive experience and are dedicated to helping those who made a mistake, were at the wrong place at the wrong time, or were the victim of identity theft clear their criminal record.
At The Law Office of Ann Thayer, PLLC, our Fairfax criminal defense lawyer will help gather and prepare documents needed to file your expungement petition and present a compelling case for your hearing. When you hire us to be on your side, we will work hard to seek a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Schedule a free consultation with an expungement lawyer in Fairfaix who has an Avvo 10.0 rating. Call us at (703) 940-0001 or contact us online.