Expungement of Charges
The Law Office of Wilfred W. Yeargan can help you file a Petition for Expungement of your criminal or traffic charge. §19.2-392.2 of the Virginia Code specifies the conditions when expungement is appropriate. Expungement of a criminal or traffic offense removes the arrest existing on the defendant’s record. The Petition for Expungement is filed in the Circuit Court of the county where the underlying offense was heard.Petition for Expungement
A Petition for Expungement can be successfully filed when a criminal or traffic charge is nolle prosequi, dismissed, or a defendant was acquitted. A Petition for Expungement cannot be successfully filed when a defendant was convicted of an originally filed criminal or traffic charge. It is also not available when the charge was deferred for dismissal with a stipulation of guilt.
However, after the Commonwealth of Virginia v. Dressner case in 2013, it is possible to expunge an original arrest when the Defendant pled guilty to a different crime that was not a lesser included offense of the original charge. For example, if a person is originally charged with Possession of Marijuana but pleads guilty to the amended charge of Reckless Driving, the Possession arrest may be expunged from the criminal record. This is because the Reckless Driving conviction is not a lesser included offense of the Possession of Marijuana charge.Civil vs. Criminal
The Petition for Expungement is a civil matter. A proper pleading is drafted and served on the Commonwealth Attorney, who is required to file an answer within 21 days. Typically, the defendant must be fingerprinted at the time a Petition for Expungement is filed. If the Petition is filed correctly and is successful, the criminal or traffic charge will be removed from the client’s record by court order.
As of 2017, the filing fees for the expungement petition ($86) are refunded to the petitioner by the Clerk of Court when the petition is granted.
Once the Expungement Order is entered by the judge hearing the case, it is sent down to Richmond to be processed by the State Police. The staff will physically remove the arrest in their criminal records and verify that all references to the case are removed by the Courts in their Court Case Information database. A final letter will be mailed by the State Police to the lawyer handling the case certifying that the expungement is completed. A copy of this letter is provided to the client when received.Contact a Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have questions about the process of expungement, please contact Attorney Yeargan by calling directly or sending a message online. He will be happy to answer your inquiries and schedule a free consultation. Attorney Yeargan has successfully handled many expungements in a quick period of time. He can economically assist you and ensure that the case is completed quickly and accurately.