Virginia Record Sealing & Expungement Blog

Which Virginia criminal convictions will be automatically sealed?

Last updated: January 8, 2024

Virginia Code § 19.2-392.6 (effective July 1, 2025, or sooner) mandates certain qualifying convictions be automatically sealed for eligible people. This means anyone who is eligible will have these convictions sealed without taking any action and receive all the benefits of sealing a conviction.

All of the convictions that qualify for automatic sealing are misdemeanors: petit larceny, concealing merchandise, trespass, distribution of marijuana, possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct. People are eligible for automatic sealing if there are no new criminal convictions for seven years after the date of conviction and there were no convictions that do not qualify for automatic sealing at the date of conviction.

What does it mean to seal criminal conviction?

Virginia Code § 19.2-392.5 defines sealing as “restricted dissemination.” For practical purposes, this means that a prior criminal conviction becomes invisible. Once sealed, criminal convictions cannot be accessed by most private and public employers, landlords, home sellers, the public or insurance companies. So, when your conviction is automatically sealed, you gain all the benefits of having a conviction sealed without having to do anything.

What are the benefits of sealing a criminal conviction?

Virginia Code § 19.2-392.15 says that when a criminal conviction is sealed most employers cannot ask about a sealed conviction and the applicant can deny the arrest and conviction. This puts applicants with sealed convictions on equal footing when applying for new jobs. Virginia Code Section § 19.2-392.15 also says that when a criminal conviction is sealed, landlords cannot ask about a sealed conviction and the applicant can deny the arrest and conviction. Sealed convictions are also removed from the Virginia online docketing system which removes the public stigma of criminal convictions.


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