In some cases, you may have an arrest in your past that continues to appear on your background checks by prospective employers and landlords. Even though you were never convicted of a crime, the existence of this arrest can you put you at a substantial disadvantage when it comes to choosing between you and other qualified individuals.
If your situation qualifies, a Manassas expungement lawyer may be able to remove your arrest records from public view permanently.
Although there is no mechanism under current Virginia law to expunge criminal convictions, you still may benefit from the removal of your arrest records. By clearing up your prior arrests, you may place yourself in a better situation to further your education, seek new employment, or embark upon a new career.
To achieve this goal, you may want to contact an experienced criminal law attorney to see if your records are eligible for expungement.
Even if a judge or jury finds individuals not guilty of a crime, or if the prosecutor agrees to dismiss the charges, individuals still will have arrest records that any member of the public may view.
In this situation, individuals likely are entitled to expungement of those records. However, if the individuals pleaded guilty to a criminal charge, even if they received a sentence of only probation for the offense, they cannot expunge their records.
The specific situations in which Virginia law permits expungement include the following:
Although the circumstances that qualify for expungement are minimal, the expungement process still may be helpful to those with cases that fall into one of these situations. Employers and others may look unfairly at individuals as guilty of crimes in some cases, even if there is no conviction. As a result, eligible individuals may wish to consult an expungement lawyer in Manassas, who may be able to file an expungement petition on their behalf.
Va. Code § 19.2-392.2 outlines the process that individuals must follow to obtain an expungement of their arrest records. First, individuals must file a petition with the court in the same city or county in which the case originated and send a copy of the petition to the attorney for the Commonwealth. The law then allows the attorney for the Commonwealth 21 days to consider the petition, answer it, or file an objection to it.
Along with the petition, individuals must file a copy of their fingerprints with the court, which sends them to the Central Criminal Records Exchange. In response, that office sends the court a copy of the complete criminal history of the individuals and the charges that they are seeking to expunge.
The court will set a hearing on the expungement petition. If there is an objection to the requested expungement by the attorney for the Commonwealth, individuals must provide evidence of good cause for the expungement. In this situation, to grant an order expunging the records as requested, the court must find as follows:
An Manassas expungement attorney may be able to facilitate this process and ensure that individuals meet all legal requirements to have their records successfully expunged.
If you receive an expungement order from the court, you can expect it to take as much as 180 days. Working with legal counsel throughout the expungement process may make these procedures far easier to follow correctly.
A Manassas expungement lawyer may be instrumental in ensuring that the State Police and all other government agencies do their part in expunging all relevant records.
When you are trying to determine how to address your criminal records best, expungement is one option that may be available to you. Legal counsel may be able to assess your situation and determine if this option is right for you. If you are entitled to expungement, having legal representation can make the process flow much more smoothly.
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