How can I get an expungement of my criminal record?
Just because a criminal charge against you has been dropped or you secured an acquittal, there is no guarantee that the charge will not continue to follow you into the future. The final element of a successful criminal defense case is to seek an expungement.
Our state has strict requirements governing who is eligible to have a criminal record cleared through expungement, but a knowledgeable attorney from the firm can help you with the entire process. You will actually be filing a civil lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia to have your criminal record cleared, and the success of the action depends on careful preparation and effective execution.
Qualifying for Expungement in Virginia
There are three conditions under which you may be eligible for expungement.
- If you were acquitted
- If the prosecution dropped the case, also known as nolle prosequi
- If you received a formal pardon from the state governor
Criminal defendants who entered a guilty plea in the case as part of a plea bargain, or who were convicted, will not be allowed by the court to sue for expungement. Your attempt is most likely to succeed, under normal circumstances, if the crime in question was a first offense. If your record is expunged, you will no longer have to live life with a mark on your criminal record.
Some of the most common motivations for seeking an expungement include employment that requires a security clearance, seeking to adopt a child, or simply wanting to have the peace of mind that comes with a clean record.
At JR Law, PLC, we understand how important it may be to you to get an expungement. We will consult with you about the case to determine if you are eligible and carry out all the necessary actions on your behalf. Contact our Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyer to learn more about expunging your criminal records.