We get a lot of telephone calls about expungements — having a criminal charge or arrest wiped off your record. People find that problems from many years ago have come back to bite them, usually by interfering with employment chances.
Unfortunately, in Virginia there is no way to expunge a conviction. If you were convicted — whether of a felony or a misdemeanor, or even a traffic offense — it cannot be expunged from your record. But if you were found not guilty, Virginia Code §19.2-392.2 provides that expungement is available if you were acquitted or “a nolle prosequi is taken or the charge is otherwise dismissed…” This means that expungement is only available if you were arrested but not convicted.
Often, these false charges pose serious problems when you are looking for work. A teacher falsely charged with assault on a student… a law enforcement officer falsely accused of a domestic assault… a student falsely charged with stalking… a computer technician falsely charged with sex offenses against minors… a student falsely charged with drug distribution who found that the fact of the arrest was causing him problems with his college scholarships. These are all circumstances where an expungement may be in order.
We handle expungements in all of the courts in Central Virginia. The process takes about three months. Even if you are eligible, though, that doesn’t mean that the judge has to grant the expungement. It’s not routine. Please call us at 434-293-8185.