Virginia Record Sealing & Expungement Blog

Drug Possession charges can be sealed with Virginia’s new “Expungement Law”

Last updated: March 27, 2024

Sealing Felony Drug Convictions in Virginia


In 2025, Virginia’s new record sealing law will introduce a transformative opportunity for individuals with felony possession of narcotics convictions (under Virginia Code Section 18.2-250) and those whose charges were dismissed under the Virginia First Offender Statute (18.2-251). For the first time in Virginia history Virginians will be able to seal felony possession of narcotics (cocaine and heroin, included) charges. This initiative underscores a commitment to rehabilitation and societal reintegration, offering a second chance to those once ensnared by past mistakes.

Expanding the Scope of Eligibility

Beyond Convictions: The Inclusion of Dismissed Charges

Significantly, the law covers felony drug charges dismissed under the Virginia First Offender Statute (18.2-251). This statute typically offers first-time drug offenders an alternative to conviction, involving probation, treatment, and community service. Upon successful completion, charges are dismissed, though the record of the charge remains accessible. Under the new sealing law, these individuals now have a clear pathway to seal this record, effectively erasing this encounter from public view.

The Path to Eligibility: Convictions and Dismissals


For those with convictions, the law mandates a decade of crime-free living and substantial proof of rehabilitation from drug dependence. This dual requirement aims to ensure that only those who have demonstrably turned their lives around can have their records sealed.


Individuals whose charges were dismissed under the First Offender Statute must also navigate specific criteria to qualify for sealing. While they may not need to demonstrate a decade of rehabilitation, their successful completion of the statute’s conditions and the absence of subsequent convictions play a crucial role in their eligibility.

The Impact of Sealing Records

Sealing records, whether for convictions or dismissed charges, can profoundly impact personal lives and contribute to broader societal progress.

Empowering Individuals

For eligible individuals, sealing a record opens countless doors previously closed by their past, allowing for a fresh narrative free from the stigma of a drug-related record. The convictions are removed from public view and are not reported on background checks by business screening services like Checkr.

Enriching Society

The law promotes a more rehabilitative approach to justice, recognizing that people can change and that society benefits from enabling their full participation.


Virginia’s record sealing law represents a bold step forward in criminal justice reform, offering a chance for redemption to those with felony drug convictions and dismissed charges under the First Offender Statute. As we approach its implementation in 2025, understanding the expanded eligibility criteria and preparing for the petitioning process becomes crucial for those seeking to leverage this opportunity for a new start.

This law not only facilitates personal growth and societal reintegration but also signifies a progressive shift towards a justice system that values second chances and recognizes the potential for positive change.



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