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Virginia

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Overview

Adult criminal records may be expunged in some situations. In most cases, you have to file a petition in court to start the process.

  • If your case ended with a nolle prosequi, dismissal, or acquittal, the record can be expunged immediately. It is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition.
  • If you were a victim of identity theft, the record should can expunged immediately. If you meet the criteria, the judge has to grant your petition.
  • If you were convicted of an offense but the state supreme court later found you innocent, the record should be expunged immediately. You do not have to file a petition.
  • Records relating to charges for which you received an absolute pardon because of factual innocence are expunged automatically.

Likely not eligible for expungement.

Likely not eligible for expungement.

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Policies

    Records relating to a traffic infraction under Title 46.2 that are not punishable as a criminal offense shall be sealed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, unless such sealing is prohibited under federal or state law.  Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.17(B).
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    Records relating to a charge for which the petitioner received an absolute pardon because of factual innocence are expunged. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.2(I).
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    Records relating to a marijuana-related felony conviction or adjudication may be expunged. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.2:2(A).
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    Records of convictions for prostitution and related offenses can be vacated and expunged by the court if the petitioner's participation in the offense was a result of having been a victim of sex trafficking. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-327.19(A).
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    Records relating to purchasing or possessing alcoholic beverages while underage pursuant to Va. Code Ann. §€‚4.1-305, that were deferred and dismissed, shall be automatically sealed. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.6(A).
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    Records resulting in a deferred and dismissed disposition or conviction can be sealed. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.12(A).
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    Records relating to the deferred disposition of a criminal case that were later dismissed shall be expunged. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-298.02(D).
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    Records relating to an offense in which a person is charged or arrested as a result of mistaken identity or identity theft can be deleted or sealed after the court has issued a determination of factual innocence. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.9(A).
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    Records relating to a conviction for which a writ of factual innocence is issued by the state supreme court will be expunged by the trial court. Va. Code Ann. § § 19.2-327.5, 19.2-327.13.
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    Criminal records resulting from identity theft can be expunged by the court. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.2(B).
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    If a person is charged with a misdemeanor offense, excluding traffic infractions under Title 46.2, and (i) the person is acquitted, (ii) a nolle prosequi is entered, or (iii) the charge is otherwise dismissed, the court disposing of the matter shall, at the time the acquittal, nolle prosequi, or dismissal is entered, order that the charge be automatically sealed. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.8(A). If a person is charged with a felony offense and is acquitted, or the charge is dismissed with prejudice, they may immediately upon the acquittal or dismissal, orally request that the records relating to the charge be sealed. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.8(B).
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    Records relating to an arrest can be expunged by the court following an acquittal, nolle prosequi, or dismissal of the charges. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.2(A).
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    Records relating to an arrest can be expunged by the court following an acquittal, nolle prosequi, or dismissal of the charges. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.11(A).
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    Juvenile Record Clearance Overview

    Below is a general overview of when juvenile records can be expunged in Virginia. Please note that the Clean Slate Clearinghouse does not provide legal advice. Read the legal policies and statutes for detailed statutory information. Juvenile Record Clearance Policies Overview Most juvenile records can be expunged.

    • If your case was dismissed (you not found guilty), your record should be automatically expunged after you turn 19 and five years have passed since the last hearing in your case. You can also submit a request to the court to expunge your record before you turn 19 years old or before five years have passed, but it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request.
    • If you were adjudicated (found guilty) of a misdemeanor, your record should be automatically expunged after you turn 19 and five years have passed since the last hearing in your case. You should not have to do anything to get your record expunged.

    You may not be eligible for expungement if you have certain convictions or adjudications on your record.

    Find a Lawyer

    If you think you might be eligible to have your record expunged, find a lawyer who may be able to help you. Some lawyers might help you for free, although you may still need to pay a fee to file the paperwork in court.

    Court Forms and Resources

    If you cannot find a lawyer to help you, you may be able to file a petition on your own using these court forms and resources.

    Juvenile Record Clearance Policies

      Records of an offense for which the clerk is required to furnish an abstract to the Department of Motor Vehicles will be expunged when the person turns 29. Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-306(A).
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      Records relating to any proceeding where the juvenile was found innocent or whose delinquency proceeding was otherwise dismissed will be automatically expunged. Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-306(A).
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      Records relating to any proceeding where the juvenile was found innocent or whose delinquency proceeding was otherwise dismissed can be expunged. Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-306(C).
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      Records relating to a delinquent act which would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult will be expunged automatically the year after the person turns 19, so long as five years have elapsed since the date of the last hearing in the case. Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-306(A).
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