Under Virginia Code § 19.2-392.2, if a person who was charged with a crime subsequently receives an acquittal, has a nolle prosequi taken, or the charge is otherwise dismissed, the person may be eligible to have the charge(s) expunged. An expungement involves the removal of police and court records regarding the charge(s). Common reasons a person may want to seek an expungement include:

  • Maintaining a clean criminal history record
  • Security Clearance
  • Background Checks
  • Avoiding Public Scrutiny
Generally, in order to have a charge expunged a person must petition the circuit court of the county or city in which the case was disposed of by acquittal or otherwise dismissed. This petition must lay out the relevant facts to assist the court and police department in locating records of each specific charge. This includes the date and court in which one’s case was disposed, the arresting agency, and a person’s identification information. Once the petition is filed, the petitioner must have the person’s fingerprints taken for the completion of a criminal history report to be filed with the court. After this, the petitioner must request a hearing date to argue the petition. While one does not need an attorney to file the petition, having an experienced attorney to assist one in the process can be the difference between the granting and dismissal of a petition.