What do I Need to do to expunge my Record in Virginia?

If you are having a criminal record and you want to have it expunged, it is an option for a person who was arrested and charged with a crime, but the person was not actually convicted of a crime.  If you have numerous records from different courts around the state you want to have expunged, it’s vital to retain a skilled Virginia lawyer who has some criminal defense experience in these kind of cases. While you are appealing to have your criminal record expunged, the procedure here is precisely a civil one.

Examples of Conditions that Allow for Record Expungements

There are a different variety of circumstances that can allow for a person to file an expungement. Some of these include:


  • A victim of name or identity theft
  • Accused in a criminal case who plead not guilty and was later cleared of all charges
  • A criminal defendant where the prosecutor’s office chooses not to prosecute which is called “nolle prosequi” which means “unwilling to pursue”
  • A criminal case settled by a “satisfaction and accord” or sum of money to a crime victim in exchange for removal of the charge
  • It’s important to notice that while you may be allowed for expungement, it’s actually not an automatic process. There are different situations where the prosecutor could object, which means a judge or a magistrate will make the determination on whether the expungement will take place or not. Unless the prosecutor puts forth an effective case on why it shouldn’t be expunged, most first-time offenders requesting an expungement on a misdemeanor offense will find the judge will typically approve the expungement. If you have a felony charge or multiple charges on your criminal record, it’s a much more tough process to convince a judge or a magistrate that the criminal records should be expunged.

How Actually the Expungement Process Works

Mainly, you need to bring a court action by submitting a petition in the state court where the charges initiated. You’ll need to get certified copies of relevant documents, like the court disposition, the warrant, and exact documents on each of the criminal charges you’re hoping to get expunged. Once you have filed the documents, you’ll need to take a copy of the appeal documents to the local police station and get a criminal record report along with a set of thumbprints. Once the court has received your criminal record report, they will schedule a hearing regarding your case. You’ll need to appear in court with all of your documents. Why? To explain why you should get an expungement.

Contact a Professional Virginia Defense Attorney

In Virginia, even if you are found not guilty of a crime, your request for the expungement of your criminal record may be denied by prosecutors. Previous criminal convictions may influence the court’s decision. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help your expungement appeal is an important concern ddefendant should consider.