Is Your Criminal Record Getting in Your Way?
You have just been interviewed for your dream job. The final step in the employee review process is checking your background and criminal record. Once checked, the employer finds a misdemeanor theft charge from ten years ago that was dismissed. They decide to go with another candidate – a better candidate, considering they are a financial institution. This scenario, unfortunately, plays out too often when a criminal record has not been expunged, leaving people with the inability to become employed, find housing, or obtain gun permits. However, this does not have to be the case with you. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime that you would like to get expunged from your record, contact an experienced Virginia expungement attorney.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is an action that is used to delete all police and court records pertaining to a criminal case. Though many people get expungements confused with the sealing of records, they are not the same. When a record is sealed, it is blocked from access by members of the public such as landlords, but can still be found in some cases. This option is best when you have not been convicted of a crime. When you receive an expungement, the records are completely inaccessible unless you are trying to obtain a professional license.
How Can I Receive an Expungement?
Virginia state law states that you can only have your records expunged in limited cases, such as:
- You were acquitted of the crime
- The charges were dismissed
- Someone else committed the crime using your name
- Nolle prosequi
If one of these scenarios exist, you may petition the court to have your record expunged. Also, if your conviction was overturned, you may petition for expungement if you first receive an absolute pardon. To request expungement you must file a petition with the court in the county in which the case was heard. Once the court has all the pertinent information, such as the petition, filing fees, a copy of your previous case, and your fingerprints, the court will set a hearing in front of a judge to determine whether the expungement will be granted or denied. It is important to note that if you are trying to expunge a felony conviction, you will also have to prove that for the conviction to remain on your record would be a “manifest injustice” to you. Though expungements may seem straightforward, it is important to seek legal representation because the process of expungements can be difficult depending on your previous charges.
Need Legal Advice?
Having a criminal record can be frustrating when you are trying to start over in life. Though it may be frustrating, there is something that you can do about it. If you or a loved one were ever charged with a crime and you want it removed from your record, we can help you. Contact the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall for an initial consultation so that we can help you get a fresh start on life with a clean criminal record. We are here to help you!