If you are charged with a crime, it can affect your employment and housing opportunities, as well as your reputation. However, the charges may not have to stay on your record forever.
In Virginia, the expungement process allows people to clear their record if they meet certain criteria.
The eligibility for expungement depends on the type of offense and the outcome of the case.
If the charges were dismissed, if you were acquitted of the crime, or if you received a pardon, you may be eligible for expungement.
Also, if you were given a deferred disposition of a misdemeanor and met the terms of the program — including not being convicted of another offense during that time — this may also make you eligible for expungement.
Certain crimes, particularly those that involve violence, may not be eligible for expungement.
There are several steps in the expungement process. It’s helpful to start by collecting the case file. Then, the charged person can submit a petition which outlines the information about the case and the grounds for expungement.
The petition will need to be filed with the court and may require a filing fee. The court may hold an expungement hearing where the charged person can provide information to support the request for expungement.
Being charged with a crime can be a traumatizing experience in many ways. An expungement can provide you with a fresh start. However, it’s also important to note that an expungement won’t necessarily clear your name on the Internet. There is support available to help you complete the process correctly.