If you ever got charged with a misdemeanor in Alexandria, Virginia in the past it is important to know that the criminal records are visible to the public eye. This can significantly disturb your life as prospective employers, colleges, universities, and landlords can easily look up your criminal history in Virginia. Fortunately, it is possible to get you records expunged.
However, every case is different so it is important that you contact an experienced Alexandria Virginia attorney to assess the particulars of your case, evaluate your options and help you file a petition.
Some of the reasons for which you should get your records expunged include:
- It may affect your enrollment in a college or a university
- If you want to serve as volunteer especially if it involves children
- Your prospective employers can go through your criminal history and this may affect your chance to get a job
Under the Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.2, you are eligible for an expungement if:
- the prosecutor dropped or dismissed your charges
- a person responsible for the misdemeanor used your credentials or name
- You get proven innocent and receive a full pardon
The Expungement process in Alexandria, Virginia:
In Virginia, The first step is to file a petition in the Circuit Court of the place where the charges were filed. The petition should state the applicable facts, the specific charge you want to get expunged and the eligibility of the person. It should include the relevant documents and certified copies of the warrant or indictment.
The copy of your petition is sent to the Commonwealth Attorney who has twenty-one days to answer the petition of file an objection to it.
The accused person’s fingerprints are then sent along with a copy of the petition to the CCRE (Central Criminal Records exchange)
They forward this information to the court with a copy of the warrant and the criminal history. After the court receives all the necessary documents, a hearing is scheduled. The jury determines if the existence of this information can be harmful and if the statutory criteria are met. The Virginia State Police is then sent a copy of the decision. If the expungement is approved, the Virginia state police follow the Order and the charges are removed from the police records and related agencies. After a reasonable amount of time, the moving party is notified about the completion of the expungement by the State Police.
Potential employers, universities and landlords having access to criminal records mean that you can get denied of employment, accommodation and other facilities. It is therefore important for removing a criminal history that is unjustly disturbing your life or has the potential to do so, from the police and court records so they are not accessible by the public. You should refer to a skilled Virginia expungement lawyer who is familiar with the expungement proceedings to help you file a petition and avoid these unjust consequences.