The Law Office of Wilfred W. Yeargan can file a Petition for Expungement of your criminal or traffic charge in the jurisdiction where it was heard. §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 after the case is finalized in court. It is important that the petition be filed in the county where the original charge was heard.
Virginia Petition for Expungement - When Can it Be Done Successfully?
A Petition for Expungement can be successfully filed when a criminal or traffic charge is nolle prosequi, dismissed, or a defendant was found not guilty at trial (acquitted). A Petition for Expungement cannot be successfully filed when a defendant was convicted of a criminal or traffic charge. It is also not available when the charge was deferred for dismissal with a stipulation of guilt.
Traffic charges that are reduced to violations that are not "lesser included offenses", such as when a DUI is reduced to Reckless Driving, are eligible for expungement of the arrest. The law office handles many traffic expungements that arise from this factual scenario.
The Petition for Expungement is a civil matter, not criminal. A proper pleading must be drafted and served on the Commonwealth Attorney, who is required to file an answer within 21 days. Certified copies of the traffic summons with disposition must be attached to the petition. Typically, the defendant must be fingerprinted at the time a Petition for Expungement is filed. The fingerprints are sent down to Richmond for a criminal history report to be issued by the State Police. The report is sent to the Circuit Court under seal. Once the report is received by the Clerk, a Notice of Hearing may be filed to set the expungement for a hearing before the judge. Attorney Yeargan tries to set this hearing for a day convenient for the client's schedule so they may appear. The Judge will determine if the Petition is granted pursuant to the statute.
Sometimes, the Commonwealth Attorney will sign an agreed order for the Judge to sign. This simplifies things and makes the hearing a quick process. Other times, it is necessary to put on a hearing with the client's testimony in order to prove that the charge on the petitioner's record causes him or her to suffer a "manifest injustice."
When the Order is signed by the Judge, it is sent down to the State Police to be acted upon. The State Police will remove the arrest records from their system, the Central Criminal Records Exchange, and the Virginia Court Case Information database. A letter is then sent to the petitioner's lawyer confirming that the records were removed. A copy of the letter is sent to the client.
The Clerk of Court returns the fingerprints to the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney at the conclusion of the case.
The Clerk of Court will issue a refund of the filing fee ($86) for an Expungement Petition when it is successful. This may take several months. The money is returned to the client when received by the law office.
Contact a Fairfax Traffic Defense Lawyer Today
If you have questions about the process of traffic offense expungement, please contact Attorney Yeargan by calling or sending an online message today. He will be happy to answer your inquiries and schedule a consultation. Attorney Yeargan has successfully handled many expungements in a quick period of time. Let him streamline the process for you and remove the headaches associated with the technical details.