Virginia Record Sealing & Expungement Blog

Virginia’s new “expungement law” explained.

Last updated: December 29, 2023

In 2021, Virginia enacted legislation that allows criminal convictions to be sealed from public view. This is different than expungement because expungement is only for non-convictions (acquittals and dismissed charges). For the first-time ever, eligible Virginians with criminal convictions will finally be given a fresh start to pursue better employment, housing and educational opportunities. While the legislation was passed in 2021, it will not be effective until July 1, 2025.

The new Virginia record sealing laws are better than expungement in many ways because they allow criminal convictions to be sealed. Until the record sealing legislation was passed, Virginia criminal convictions stayed on your criminal record for life because convictions cannot be expunged. So, for the first time ever in Virginia there is criminal record relief for criminal convictions!

Many people, including lawyers, refer to Virginia Code Sections 19.2-392.5 – 19.2-392.17 as “Virginia’s new 2025 Expungement law.” The “expungement” label is misplaced. These new laws are accurately called record sealing laws.

The Virginia 2025 record sealing law is a landmark piece of legislation designed to provide individuals with the opportunity to seal certain criminal convictions, thus mitigating the long-term impact of past mistakes on their lives. The law recognizes that individuals who have paid their debt to society should not be burdened indefinitely by the stigma of a criminal record.

The Virginia 2025 record sealing law marks a significant stride towards a more rehabilitative criminal justice system. By providing individuals with the opportunity to seal certain criminal convictions, the law recognizes the potential for growth and change in every individual.

Contact Clean Slate Virginia to find out if your criminal conviction can be sealed!


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