Virginia Record Sealing & Expungement Blog

Which crimes qualify for expungement in Virginia?

Last updated: March 20, 2024

Understanding who qualifies for expungement under Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.2 is crucial for individuals seeking to clear their criminal records and embrace new opportunities. First and foremost, Virginia expungement is only available for charges that are dismissed. Virginia expungement requires a petition filed in the Circuit Court when the charge was dismissed.

Criteria for Expungement in Virginia

To qualify for expungement in Virginia, individuals must meet specific criteria outlined in Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.2. and file a petition in the Circuit Court. Here’s a breakdown of the key requirements:

1. Non-Conviction Charges

Under Virginia law, only charges resulting in a “non-conviction” can be expunged. This includes cases where:

  • The individual was acquitted by a judge or jury after pleading “not guilty.”
  • Charges were dismissed by the prosecutor, and a nolle prosse was entered.
  • The charge was “otherwise dismissed,” which can include resolution by “accord and satisfaction.”
  • The individual was charged with contempt of court in a civil action and found not guilty.

2. Absolute Pardon

Expungement is also possible for individuals who have received an absolute pardon for a crime. A pardon signifies forgiveness and allows for the removal of associated criminal records. Expungement is not allowed in Virginia for simple pardons.

3. Identity Theft
Victims of identity theft in Virginia may petition for expungement when criminal charges are falsely attributed to them.

Types of Charges Eligible for Expungement

Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.2 allows for the expungement of various criminal charges, including but not limited to:

  • Misdemeanors
  • Felonies
  • Contempt of court charges in civil actions

Why Expungement Matters

Expungement can have a profound impact on an individual’s life by:

1. Opening Doors to Opportunities

A clean criminal record opens doors to employment, education, housing, and other opportunities that may have been previously inaccessible due to past legal troubles.

2. Facilitating Redemption

For individuals seeking redemption and a fresh start, expungement offers a path to leave behind the stigma of a criminal record and rebuild their lives with dignity and hope.

Conclusion: Embracing a Brighter Future

Understanding the criteria for expungement in Virginia is the first step toward clearing one’s name and embracing a brighter future. While the process may seem daunting, consulting with a legal professional can provide clarity and guidance on navigating it successfully.

Remember, everyone deserves a second chance, and expungement in Virginia can be the key to unlocking that possibility!


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