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Filing for an expungement

If you are one of the many people in Virginia who has been arrested for and charged with a criminal offense, you may well have experienced some negative consequences associated with having this event on your permanent record. There are some situations in which you may be able to have details of this event removed, making it easier for you to go forward and rebuild your life in a positive manner.

The legal term for having a criminal record or activity cleared is called an expungement. According to the Code of Virginia, you may be able to request expungement of a particular offense if you were granted an absolute pardon of the crime, were acquitted of the crime or if the charge was dismissed in any way, including if the prosecution abandoned the case. An abandonment by the prosecutor is called

Generally, you must request an expungement in the city or the county in which the alleged offense took place. You must complete all documentation in its entirety and even provide a set of fingerprints to the court. Your application must include a copy of your indictment or warrant and a copy of the documents that prove you received an absolute pardon, acquittal or a dismissal of your case. 

If you would like to learn more about what you need to do if you want to have a particular criminal activity expunged from your record, please feel free to visit the record clearing process page of our Virginia criminal defense website.

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