This is the next post in my series on expungement or “sealing” of criminal records in Roanoke and elsewhere in Virginia. My last article discussed when one is eligible to expunge a Virginia record. It is important to understand that, while the Commonwealth is more restrictive than many states when it comes to an expungement, there are instances in which one can clear their history. By completing this process, a person can improve their chances of finding housing, employment, etc. It is suggested that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you with completing the process. In this article I will discuss the steps required in order to gain an expungement. Contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
The first step in clearing your record is to gather and accumulate certain records. These include a certified copy of your initial arrest warrant and dismissal. This information will assist the attorney in determining whether an expungement can occur. A Petition for Expungement will then be filed with the Court. A set of your fingerprints will also need to be obtained from the local law enforcement agency. These fingerprints will be forwarded to Virginia’s Central Criminal Records Exchange (otherwise known as the “CCRE”) along with a copy of the Petition. The CCRE will then forward, to the Court, copies of the record which you are attempting to expunge. The Court will schedule a hearing at which the Petition will be heard. Once the Petition is granted then an Order will be forwarded to local law enforcement, and other necessary agencies, requiring that the record be hidden from public view or certain material destroyed. As I discussed in my article on the benefits of expunging a Virginia record, this will make your history inaccessible to many who would perform a background check.
There are many benefits of retaining an attorney to help you with the expungement process. First, counsel can help you to understand whether you are, in fact, eligible to clear your history. It is not uncommon for individuals to file their own Petition with the Court, only to find that they are not eligible for an expungement. Second, if you do not correctly complete the Petition then it will be rejected or not the full record will be expunged. Counsel can ensure that all documents are properly completed and submitted. Most importantly, for instance, if you have multiple arrests, and one is omitted from your Petition, then that arrest will remain on your record. By retaining experienced legal counsel, you allow a professional to focus on all the issues. This allows you to focus on the most important thing – your future.
Contact my office today to speak with a Roanoke expungement lawyer in regard to your Virginia record and the expungement process. My office prides itself on providing the highest level of service and we are ready to assist you. We also serve the Commonwealth’s southwest cities of Cave Spring, Salem, Roanoke, 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.