Occoquan Expungement Lawyer
If you faced criminal charges at one point in your life, but a judge or jury found you not guilty, or the charges otherwise were dismissed, records of that arrest and prosecution still can be damaging to your future. These records will show up on background checks by employers and landlords, which may put you at a disadvantage as compared to others.
An Occoquan expungement lawyer may be able to help you expunge these records and get a fresh start by clearing your criminal background.
While you cannot get an expungement for records related to a criminal conviction, you may qualify for an expungement of records related to criminal charges in which there was no conviction. Expungement may allow you to wipe your slate clean and truthfully state that you have no criminal background.
A seasoned criminal defense attorney could assist you in achieving this goal and eliminating past accusations of criminal activity from your record.
Records that Qualify for Expungement
There are no criminal convictions that qualify for expungement under Virginia law, even if individuals received only probation as their sentences for the offense. Only three situations are eligible for expungement of records, as follows:
- A judge or jury finds individuals not guilty of the crimes charged following a trial on the charges
- The attorney for the Commonwealth voluntarily requested a dismissal of the criminal charges without prejudice or nolle prosequi
- The court dismissed the criminal charges for another reason
The expungement process may be beneficial for individuals, as arrest records and criminal court proceedings still will show up on a background check for employment or any other reason, even if the charges never result in a conviction. An expungement lawyer in Occoquan may be able to file petitions for individuals whose records fall within one of these three categories.
Filing for Expungement in Occoquan
To file for expungement in Virginia, individuals first must file a petition for expungement according to Va. Code § 19.2-392.2 with the court in the city or county in which the original criminal case previously was filed. The attorney for the Commonwealth must receive a copy of the petition and has 21 days in which to either file an objection to the petition or otherwise answer it. Individuals must submit a copy of their fingerprints, which goes to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, who provides the court with a copy of the criminal history for the petitioning individuals and the charge to be expunged.
The judge will schedule the expungement petition for a hearing. If the attorney for the Commonwealth objects to the expungement, there must be evidence of good cause for the expungement. After hearing evidence, if the court determines that all requirements are met, there is good cause for the expungement, and the records are eligible for expungement, the court will issue a judgment expunging the records.
Once the court issues an expungement order, the State Police and other associated agencies will remove the charge form their records. This process can take up to 180 days. An expungement attorney in Occoquan can ensure that the State Police and other agencies properly carry out the expungement process and remove the records that the court has ordered expunged. Reach out to a dedicated defense lawyer and set up a consultation.
Call an Occoquan Expungement Attorney for Advice Today
Criminal charges, even if dismissed, can still pose an impediment to your ability to move on with your life. Employers may hesitate to hire you in favor of individuals with clean criminal records, even if you have no criminal conviction. An Occoquan expungement lawyer can determine whether your records are eligible for expungement and guide you through the process of expunging all qualified records.
Obtaining an expungement can put you in a better position to improve your life by attaining better job opportunities, pursuing new career paths, and getting better housing for you and your family. A criminal offense for which you were not convicted should not hold you back for the rest of your life. Expungement can help you wipe away the criminal arrests and charges in your past and move toward a new beginning, so call today to get started.