This is the next post in my series on the expungement (sometimes referred to as “sealing”) of one’s criminal record in Roanoke, Virginia. My last post provided an overview of topics which this series will address. It also stressed the need to retain an attorney to assist you with the process. Counsel can help you ensure that the matter is handled properly. This, in turn, can help to ensure that your record is cleared sooner, rather than later, and the charges are expunged. In this article I will discuss the benefits to gaining an expungement. If you wish to clear your criminal history, then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Virginia allows for the sealing or expungement of a record under limited circumstances. If you are eligible to complete this process (a topic which I will address in my next article), then there are benefits to doing so. In our commonwealth, expungement does not destroy a criminal record or erase it from existence. It does, however, hide it from public view and from many forms of a background check. This means, for example, that landlords and potential employers will not be able to attain your prior record. Also, under Virginia law, if you attain an expungement then you are legally permitted to say “no” if/when you are asked whether you have been arrested or convicted of an offense which was subsequently expunged.
The benefits of an expungement can be extreme as having an arrest or criminal record can lead to many difficulties in life. Many landlords, for example, will not rent to someone who has an arrest history. Also, many employers quickly dismiss (whether or legal or not) the applications of those with a criminal history. It goes without saying that it can be hard for one to move their life forward when they are struggling to find housing or employment.
It is also important to understand what a Virginia expungement does not do. As stated above, the process will not erase the record from existence. It will still be available to law enforcement and to Judges. This means, for example, that if you have an arrest record expunged, then the police will still see the record in the event that they stop you for questioning. Also, if you are applying for a professional license, then you will still be required to disclose the arrest or conviction. So, while an expungement does help in many areas, it does not make it as if the record never existed.
If you wish to clear your history, then contact my office today to speak with a Roanoke expungement lawyer. I will work to ensure that your matter is handled properly so that you may move forward with your life as quickly as possible. Call today to speak with an attorney. We also serve the southwest Virginia cities of Cave Spring, Salem, the Botetourt County city of Hollins, the Bedford County cities of Bedford and Forest, the Franklin County city of Rocky Mount, and the Montgomery County cities of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford.