Virginia Record Sealing & Expungement Blog

Deferred Disposition in Virginia: A Path to Expungement

Last updated: April 26th, 2024

Beginning in July 2021, Virginia introduced a transformative legal option for handling criminal cases, known as “Deferred Disposition.” This provision, codified under Virginia Code Section 19.2-298.02, offers a unique pathway for both prosecution and defense to work towards a case dismissal or a reduced charge without a formal conviction, provided there is mutual agreement. This development not only enhances the legal toolkit available to attorneys but also serves as a significant step toward aligning Virginia’s judicial processes with those of other states, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment for certain offenses.

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One of the most important provisions of the Deferred Disposition statute is the ability to have a charge expunged after it is dismissed.

Section (D) of Virginia Code Section19.2-298.02 reads as follows:

Upon agreement of all parties, a charge that is dismissed pursuant to this section may be considered as otherwise dismissed for purposes of expungement of police and court records in accordance with § 19.2-392.2, and such agreement of all parties and expungement eligibility shall be indicated in the final disposition order.

Unfortunately, section (D) Virginia Code Section19.2-298.02 is underutilized for criminal defendants across Virginia. Too often, defendants and defense attorneys are not advocating for expungement of criminal charges.

The Clean Slate Virginia way is to advocate for expungement in every possible case for every client! Clean Slate Virginia uses existing Virginia laws in a way that is not common practice across the Commonwealth. It is time to use the existing Virginia laws to your advantage!

Understanding Deferred Disposition

Deferred Disposition is a legal framework that allows for a case to be postponed with the potential for dismissal or charge reduction. This occurs after the defendant enters a plea (guilty, no contest, or not guilty with a stipulation to the facts) and agrees to meet specified conditions set forth by the court. This innovative approach provides a second chance to individuals by focusing on compliance with judicial conditions rather than immediate penalization.

Benefits of Deferred Disposition in Virginia

The advantages of opting for Deferred Disposition are extensive:

  • Avoids Convictions: By fulfilling the terms of the agreement, defendants can avoid the stigma and repercussions of a criminal conviction.
  • Potential for Expungement: Provided the Commonwealth Attorney agrees, the charge can be expunged after it is dismissed.
  • Mitigates Adverse Impacts: This disposition shields individuals from negative outcomes related to employment, housing, and other social services often hindered by criminal records.
  • Judicial Discretion: It grants prosecutors and defense attorneys the flexibility to tailor sanctions based on the unique facts and mitigation efforts of each case, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to justice.

Eligibility and Conditions

While Deferred Disposition offers a promising alternative to traditional sentencing, it’s not suitable for every case. Eligibility and the specifics of the agreement, such as the conditions of the suspended sentence and the possibility of expungement, are determined collaboratively by the Commonwealth Attorney and defense based on the case’s particulars.

Important Considerations

It’s crucial to note that accepting a Deferred Disposition involves waiving the right to appeal the case if the terms of the deferment are violated. This underscores the importance of compliance and the serious nature of the agreement.


Deferred Disposition in Virginia represents a move toward a more rehabilitative and discretionary legal system. Although its use is currently limited, the growing acceptance among Commonwealth Attorneys points towards a broader implementation. If you are facing criminal charges in Virginia, consult with Clean Slate Virginia to explore the possibility of Deferred Disposition and its implications for you case. This approach not only benefits the accused, by avoiding the long-term consequences of a conviction but also aligns with broader societal interests in rehabilitation and justice.

If you have a pending criminal charge that you would like to have expunged, contact Clean Slate Virginia today!



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Clean Slate Virginia, PLLC
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Midlothian, VA 23113

(804) 248-0400