Facing the repercussions of any type of crime can make way for a long and tedious process. Depending on the case, those repercussions could last for months, and even many years. Virginia residents dealing with the effects of actions made a lifetime ago understand the severity of a criminal record. Not only can it can dangle above one’s head in a number of situations; it can potentially threaten a person’s reputation and overall quality of life.
Fortunately for some Virginians, future changes among a number of bills could help waive criminal records through quicker procedures. ABC 8News reported in January that lawmakers in the state have begun to reconsider expungement regulations. House Bill 962, for example, would help those forced into prostitution waive past convictions. Subcommittee members subsequently turned these proposals over to the state’s crime commission for further inspection. While this could slow down the process of these potentially modified bills, many Virginia lawmakers agree that the state’s laws surrounding expungement are far too strict.
Even for those with multiple past offenses, understanding the basics of expungement can become overwhelming. Findlaw provides an outline of the process of expungement, stating that the sole purpose of this process is to seal a person’s legal record of an arrest. While state and county laws may vary, Findlaw shares that most expungement cases rely on a person’s jurisdiction, the details of the crime itself, one’s criminal history and the timeframe of a crime and conviction. Virginia residents may also want to consider the differences between a “sealed” record and an expunged one; sealed records may still be exposed in a criminal justice system, while expungement typically sets aside a criminal conviction in many instances. Of course, state laws may affect these details, and those concerned about a criminal record can seek further assistance to best address a past crime and to move on with life’s better chapters.