What Types of Charges and Convictions Can Be Expunged or Sealed From My Criminal Record?

Expungement laws in Virginia are very limited. While other states are more lenient with regard to expungements, Virginia is not among them. Specifically, Virginia courts do not allow for the expungement of any conviction from your record no matter how old. You are only eligible to petition the court to expunge a charge from your record if you were found not guilty, if the charge was dismissed against you, or if the Commonwealth’s Attorney nolle prossed (withdrew) the charge against you. There is also a provision in the law for expunging a charge that someone else committed in your name after you were wrongfully arrested due to identity theft.

Felonies that have been reduced to misdemeanors may not be expunged. Deferred dispositions or findings under advisements (FUAs) where a judge initially entered a finding of guilt but ultimately dismissed the charge after a defendant completed community service or paid restitution may not be expunged. This also includes a first offender program for a domestic assault charge or possession of marijuana.

Expungement policies vary across jurisdictions and it is important to know the specifics prior to filing an expungement petition in a circuit court. Be sure to consult with an experienced expungement attorney before beginning the expungement process.