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How Can I Get A Criminal Conviction Expunged?

by J.D. Garrett on June 23, 2012

In Virginia you may only have a criminal charge expunged if you received a favorable ruling on the charge, or you have received an absolute pardon after being wrongly convicted. A favorable ruling includes matters that have been resolved by nolle prosequi (i.e., the charges were dropped by the prosecutor), the charges against you were dismissed, or you were found not guilty after a trial on the merits. An expungement can be requested by individuals who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors, including traffic matters such as reckless driving or DUI.

For any criminal conviction, an individual may petition the Governor of Virginia for a pardon through the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office. Unless you receive an “absolute pardon” from the Governor, indicating that you were wrongly convicted of the charge, there is no provision under Virginia law to have a criminal conviction expunged. It matters not how minor the offense, such as littering or public intoxication, or how long ago the conviction. Since any criminal conviction may have adverse effects on gaining employment, an education, and credit, you should always consult with a criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty or thinking, “I’ll just pay the fine.”

To initiate an expungement proceeding, you must file a petition in the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction of the charge, even if your case was resolved in General District Court, Traffic Court, or Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court. If you would like to file for an expungement in Virginia Beach, we are ready to help you today. (757) 422-4646.

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