Expungement allows you to put your past behind you when you have criminal convictions. However, the qualifying requirements for expungement make it challenging to get your past convictions removed or sealed.
Fortunately, you can build a brighter future with help from an experienced Manassas expungement attorney at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone. Contact our team for a confidential consultation today and learn more about your eligibility for expungement and the steps you must take to secure one.
What Are the Expungement Eligibility Laws in Virginia?
To determine whether you qualify for record expungement, your Manassas criminal defense attorney must carefully review your criminal record, your prior convictions, and the state’s expungement regulations. To be eligible for expungement in Virginia:
- The charges against you must have been dismissed
- You must have been a juvenile at the time of the crime
- You were found not guilty or acquitted of the crime in question
- A specific amount of time has passed since you completed the terms of your sentencing
Which Offenses Can Be Expunged in Virginia?
In the past, the only time criminal charges could be expunged was if the charges were dismissed or the defendant was found not guilty. However, as of July 1, 2021, Virginia laws have changed.
Certain felonies may be eligible for expungement if they meet specific criteria. Some examples of when felonies could be expunged include:
- A felony was dismissed without prejudice
- The defendant was found not guilty of a felony
- Felony was dismissed with prejudice
- The defendant received an absolute pardon for their felony conviction
- The defendant was arrested for a felony charge but not found guilty
- The defendant was charged with a felony in a case of identity fraud or mistaken identity
Can a Felony Be Expunged in Manassas?
Class five or six felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions, and first-offender dismissals are also eligible for expungement. Certain types of unclassified offenses, such as grand larceny, might also meet the eligibility criteria. To qualify for an expunction, the following criteria must be met under Commonwealth law:
- The defendant must not have been found guilty of a class three or four felony in the last 20 years
- The defendant must have never been convicted of a class one or two felony
- The defendant must not have been convicted of any other felony-level offense within the last ten years
When Will Expungement Petitions Be Granted?
For expungement to be granted, the judicial court of the Commonwealth must find that:
- You have demonstrated rehabilitation if your records involve alcohol or drugs
- You have not been previously convicted of a misdemeanor offense within the last seven years or a felony offense within the previous ten years
- Your criminal record will continue to have a negative and unjust impact on your life
- You have not previously been granted an expungement or record sealing for two or more convictions
You can rely on your criminal defense lawyer to scrutinize the details of your case to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements and the steps you must take to fulfill these criteria.
Which Convictions Are Not Eligible for Expungement in Manassas and the Commonwealth of Virginia?
Certain types of criminal offense convictions are not eligible for expungement, including:
- Domestic assault
- Watercraft involuntary manslaughter and maiming
- Class one, two, three, or four felony convictions
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Vehicular involuntary manslaughter and maiming
What Happens To Your Record After an Expungement?
If your expungement petition is granted, your records will be effectively erased. When potential employers, financial institutions, and other parties run a background check, they will not see your criminal record. However, your prior convictions may remain available through arrest records to certain law enforcement agencies via the central criminal records exchange.
How Long Does Expungement Take in the Commonwealth of Virginia?
The time for an expungement to be finalized in Manassas varies on a case-by-case basis. Generally, it could take approximately six months to pursue an expungement and get your records sealed. However, depending on your jurisdiction and the details of your case, it could take longer.
How Much Does an Expungement Cost?
In addition to the costs of hiring an expungement lawyer in Manassas, you should also expect to pay court fees and expungement costs. For example, you can expect to pay an $86 fee to file your expungement petition, $10 for a fingerprint card, and $12 to serve your petition to the Commonwealth’s district attorney.
Do I Need a Manassas Expungement Attorney to Clear My Record in Virginia?
If you want to achieve the best possible outcome in your case, an expungement attorney on your side can make all the difference. Your lawyer will understand the intricacies of expungement in Virginia.
They will make sure you are aware of your responsibilities and potential outcomes. Your attorney will likely have relationships with the district attorney and judge, which can make negotiating for an expungement significantly easier.
Contact a Manassas Expungement Lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone
When you have an initial charge or conviction on your record, sometimes, expungement is the best way to bury your past and build a new future. However, not everyone will qualify for an expunction.
Find out whether you qualify and what you need to do to get your record expunged when you reach out to a dedicated Manassas expungement lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone. Please fill out our online contact form or call our office to schedule your confidential case evaluation as soon as today.