Anytime someone is charged with a crime in Virginia, it is a matter of public record. The primary way that the public could find out about someone being arrested and having a charge would be to look on the Virginia Supreme Court website, which contains case information for almost all of the counties in Virginia.
Then said, it is not the case that arrests are published to the press or that there is a press release except in the most serious cases. Some arrests are put on the local law enforcement police blotter but, again, this is a minority of cases. For the most part, unless someone in the public knew that a person was arrested, knew where to look, and decided to attempt to find it, they would have no reason to know.
If you are being charged with a DUI then contact a skilled Virginia DUI Lawyer. Once you contact a skilled Virginia Lawyer you will able to seek out the information on how the arrest record will look to others.
There can be a number of consequences of having an arrest record even if a person is not convicted. Certainly in the Washington, DC area where so many people work for the federal government or the military or have a security clearance, having a clean record is important to them.
Many of these employers will do regular background checks and, were they do to do one, they would discover that the person had in fact been arrested. This can cause a problem for them even if they have not ultimately been convicted.
The only real option a person has to get rid of an arrest record is the expungement process. That will be available to the person if either the case is dismissed at trial or the government voluntarily dismisses the case.
Expungement in Virginia is a process whereby an arrest record, including a record of it on the federal as well as the Virginia database and court records, will be sealed and no longer available for anyone to view without having a court order to open them. Again, this is something that can only be done if a person is actually found not guilty. If the person is convicted, they will not be able to have their arrest record expunged.
Records can be sealed through the expungement process. What that technically entails is a judge, after a hearing, entering an order that requires the Virginia State Police to seal all records pertaining to the defendant’s arrest. This will include the federal database, the Virginia database, as well as the local court’s records.
Mug shots are not typically made available to the public in Virginia.
In Virginia, those are exactly the same thing. In Virginia, expungement is a sealing of records.
If a person is acquitted of a DUI, the arrest record will remain every bit as public as it was from the time that they were arrested to the time that they were found not guilty. In other words, the arrest record will be available on the court’s website and will be available to anyone who does a criminal background check on the person both through the federal database as well as the Virginia database.
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