Portsmouth Expungement Lawyer

If you were arrested or charged with an offense but never convicted, you may be surprised to learn that you still have a criminal record visible to anyone who conducts a background search. However, a Portsmouth expungement lawyer could help you remove that record from view. In some cases, even those convicted of a crime may be eligible to have the offense expunged from their records.

A tenacious defense lawyer could help with expungement or sealing records to help keep your record clean. Also, the attorney may be able to help in other ways to minimize the negative consequences of criminal activity on your record.

What Is Expungement?

Once someone obtains an expungement, information about an arrest and criminal charge is permanently removed from the court record and the police record. The individual who was charged may say that they were never charged with or arrested for the offense.

However, the records do not disappear entirely. If the individual applies for employment with a law enforcement agency, the record could be disclosed. Also, the records could also be disclosed if it is necessary to protect life or property in a pending criminal investigation, according to Va. Code. Ann. §19.2-392.3.

Eligibility for Sealing Criminal Records

Virginia law specifies when an individual is eligible to have their criminal records expunged. According to Virginia Code Annotated §19.2-392.2, individuals may have records expunged if:

  • They were charged but acquitted
  • The charge was dismissed (including dismissal by accord and satisfaction)
  • The prosecution abandoned pursuit through Nolle Prosequi
  • A crime was committed in someone’s name due to identity theft
  • Someone convicted of a crime received an absolute pardon (and they did not commit the crime)

Also, Va. Code Ann. §19.2-310.7 allows individuals who had a felony conviction reversed to have their record removed from the DNA database kept by the state. Those who are uncertain whether they are eligible for expungement should consult a seasoned Portsmouth expungement lawyer to learn about their options.

Procedures for Sealing a Record

To request an expungement, it is necessary to file a Petition for Expungement, which can be done with Form CC-1473. This petition should be filed in the circuit court in the jurisdiction that handled the case.

A knowledgeable Portsmouth expungement lawyer could handle the preparation and filing of the petition along with the required fees, copies, and biometric information, if necessary. A copy of the petition should be served on the Commonwealth’s Attorney in the city or county where the petition is filed. If the court approves the Order of Expungement, the order will be forwarded to the police.

Let a Portsmouth Expungement Attorney Help

Like all legal procedures, expungement, and the process of sealing criminal records can be complicated. A Portsmouth expungement lawyer could provide assistance at any point in the process, from determining eligibility to follow up if an order is delayed or denied.

Even if you have never been convicted of any criminal offense, you could still be held back by old charges on your record. It is a good idea to find out what is on file and how you can improve your record. To learn how an attorney could help with sealing records or other actions to erase damage to your reputation, call today.