How Do You Get an Expungement in Virginia?

According to the state code of Virginia, expungement is possible if the accused is acquitted or the case is dismissed. An unauthorized misappropriation of name or identification on the part of the accused is also grounds for an expungement.

This process can also take place with a petition on the part of the accused that presents relevant facts. At this point, the petition is filed with the circuit court of either the city or county in which the crime was reported. The attorney for the Commonwealth then has 21 days to accept or deny this petition according to Virginia Code. If it is accepted, the petitioner must provide fingerprints to submit along with the petition to the Central Criminal Records Exchange. The CCRE holds a hearing regarding the criminal record of the defendant and then passes the sealed petition back to the court, in keeping with Virginia Code.

The court must now decide whether or not the existence or dissemination of information pertaining to the arrest plausibly constitutes a manifest injustice to the defendant, according to Virginia Code. If not, expungement does not take place. However, if the defendant has a clean criminal record and the petitioned crime is a misdemeanor, the court is obliged to expunge the record unless the Commonwealth can provide rationale against this.