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West Virginia

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Overview

Adult criminal records for cases in which you were convicted are eligible for expungement in some situations. You have to file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 

  • Records relating to one misdemeanor conviction can be expunged by the court after one year. 
  • Records relating to multiple misdemeanor convictions can be expunged by the court after one year. 
  • Records relating to a non-violent felony conviction can be expunged by the court after three years. 
  • With certain exceptions, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor committed when you were between 18 and 26, the record can be expunged one year after you complete your sentence. With certain exceptions, if you were convicted of an offense and received a full and unconditional pardon from the governor, the record can be expunged five years after you complete your sentence and one year after your pardon. 

Adult criminal records for cases in which you completed a diversion or deferral program are eligible for expungement in some situations. You have to file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 

  • In a first-time, alcohol-related case, if the charges were dismissed after you successfully completed conditional discharge probation, the record can be expunged six months after you complete probation. 
  • In a first-time drug possession case, if the charges were dismissed after you successfully completed conditional discharge probation, the record can be expunged six months after you complete probation. 

Records relating to a single misdemeanor conviction can be expunged by the court upon successful compliance with an approved substance abuse treatment and recovery and counseling program for 90 days or upon completion of an approved job readiness adult training course, or both.  

Adult criminal records for arrests for which you were never convicted are eligible to be returned or expunged in some situations. 

  • If you were acquitted, fingerprints and photographs can be returned to you immediately, so long as you have no other criminal record. You have to submit proof of the acquittal to the Department of Public Safety. 
  • With certain exceptions, if the case was dismissed or you were acquitted, arrest and charge records can be expunged 60 days after the acquittal or dismissal, so long as you have no felony convictions. You have to file a petition with the court, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Policies

    Records relating to multiple misdemeanor convictions can be expunged by the court after two years. W. Va. Code §61-11-26.
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    Records relating to one misdemeanor conviction can be expunged by the court after one year. W. Va. Code §61-11-26.
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    Records relating to multiple misdemeanor convictions can be expunged by the court after one year. W. Va. Code § 61-11-26a (a)(2). Records relating to nonviolent felony convictions can be expunged by the court after three years. W. Va. Code § 61-11-26a(a)(3).
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    Records relating to commercial motor vehicle traffic control violations or convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances cannot be expunged. W. Va. Code § 61-11-26b.
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    Records relating to a misdemeanor conviction or convictions arising from the same transaction committed while the petitioner was between the ages of 18 and 26 can be expunged by the court one year after sentence completion, so long as the petitioner meets specified criteria. W. Va. Code § 61-11-26(a), (b).
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    Records relating to an offense for which the petitioner received a full and unconditional pardon from the governor can be expunged by the court no sooner than five years after sentence completion and one year after receipt of the pardon. W. Va. Code §§ 5-1-16a(a), (c), (d).
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    Records relating to a non-violent felony conviction can be expunged by the court after five years. W. Va. Code §61-11-26.
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    Records relating to a case that is dismissed pursuant to section 60-6-26 can be expunged by the court six months after probation is completed. W. Va. Code § 60-6-26(e).
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    Records relating to a case that is dismissed pursuant to 60A-4-407 can be expunged by the court six months after probation completion. W. Va. Code § 60A-4-407(b).
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    Records relating to single misdemeanor conviction can be expunged by the court upon successful compliance with an approved substance abuse treatment and recovery and counseling program for 90 days or upon completion of an approved job readiness adult training course, or both. W. Va. Code § 61-11-26a.
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    Fingerprints and photographs taken in response to an arrest or detention for which the petitioner is later acquitted can be returned upon request, so long as the petitioner has no prior criminal record. W. Va. Code § 15-2-24(h).
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    Records relating to an arrest or charge resulting in acquittal or dismissal can be expunged by the court 60 days after the order of acquittal or dismissal, so long as petitioner has no prior criminal record. W. Va. Code § 61-11-25(a), (b).
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    Juvenile Record Clearance Overview

    Below is a general overview of when juvenile records can be sealed in West 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 are automatically sealed after you turn18 or one year after your case, probation, or commitment ends, whichever occurs last. You should not have to do anything to get the record sealed. 
    • However, other records do require petitioning the court for expungement. The court may expunge records relating to a juvenile delinquency upon a finding that the individual’s participation in the offense was a direct result of being a victim of trafficking. 

    Find a Lawyer 

    If you think you might be eligible to have your record sealed, 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. 

     

     

    Juvenile Record Clearance Policies

      Records relating to a juvenile delinquency proceeding will be sealed one year after the juvenile's 18th birthday or one year after personal or juvenile jurisdiction of the court is terminated, whichever is later. W. Va. Code § 49-5-104(a).
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      Records relating to a juvenile delinquency proceeding will be sealed one year after the juvenile's 18th birthday or one year after personal or juvenile jurisdiction of the court is terminated, whichever is later. W. Va. Rules of Juv. Proc., Rule 50(a). W. Va. Code § 49-5-101(a).
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      Records relating to a juvenile proceeding transferred to criminal jurisdiction shall be sealed if the juvenile is subsequently acquitted of the offense, found guilty only of an offense other than the offense upon which the transfer or waiver was based, or the offense upon which the transfer or waiver was based was subsequently dismissed. W. Va. Rules of Juv. Proc., Rule 50(b).
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      Records relating to a juvenile delinquency can be expunged upon a finding that the individual's participation in the offense was a direct result of being a victim of trafficking. W. Va. Code § 61-14-9(a). 
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      Find A Lawyer

      Legal service providers located in the state.

      Contact information for legal aid organizations, bar associations, and other organizations that engage in record clearance work is provided for informational purposes only. The NRRC does not endorse or recommend any organization or individual referenced on the site. If you are a legal service provider who offers record clearance services, please contact us.