Fredericksburg Expungement Lawyer

A criminal record can interfere with obtaining employment, credit, housing approval, or admission to a school. However, it is possible to have some criminal records expunged, which means the record is sealed and no longer accessible to the general public.

A Fredericksburg expungement lawyer could help determine if you have any criminal records potentially eligible for expungement. If you would like to explore your legal options in this regard, talking to a criminal defense attorney might be your best course of action.

Types of Records Eligible

Some police and court records are eligible for expungement under certain conditions. For example, a person who is acquitted of a criminal charge can petition to have any record of their arrest, arraignment, and prosecution expunged. The expungement of a criminal charge can also be requested when the charge was dismissed, including dismissal by accord and satisfaction in assault cases.

A person can also file for expungement if their name or identification was used without consent by someone else who was charged or arrested under that person’s name. A Fredericksburg expungement attorney could examine a case and determine what may be possible for a particular individual.

Expungement Process for Criminal Records

There is a specific process for requesting the expungement of police or court records. The expungement process in Fredericksburg includes:

  • Filing a petition for expungement with the appropriate court
  • Indicating the specific criminal charge or record
  • Including a copy of the indictment or warrant, if available, with the petition for expungement
  • Obtaining a copy of the petitioner’s fingerprints from a law enforcement agency and providing that law enforcement agency with a copy of the petition for expungement
  • Submitting the petitioner’s fingerprints to the Central Criminal Records Exchange
  • Conducting a court hearing to review the petition for expungement and issuing a ruling

The process can be complicated, and all required forms and documents must be submitted to the appropriate court within a specific time frame for the court to consider the petition for expungement. A lawyer who thoroughly understands the expungement process in Fredericksburg could ensure all necessary paperwork is filed with the correct court on time.

Penalties for Unlawful Disclosure of Sealed Records

It should be noted that expunged records are only sealed and not erased. Some law enforcement agencies could still retain access to expunged criminal records but are prohibited from disclosing that information without a court order.

Virginia Code §19.2-392.3 specifically prohibits the disclosure of expunged criminal police or court records without a valid order from the court that originally ordered the record expunged. The willful and unlawful disclosure of a criminal record is a Class 1 misdemeanor and could result in up to 12 months confinement in jail and a $2,500 fine upon conviction.

It is also unlawful to demand that an applicant for employment or admission to an educational institution disclose information from an expunged criminal record, as per Virginia Code §19.2-392.4. An applicant cannot be denied employment or admission to a school for refusing to disclose expunged information, and any violation of this law is also a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Speak with a Fredericksburg Expungement Attorney About Legal Options

Expunging permitted items from a criminal record could potentially improve your eligibility for employment, credit, housing, or admission in educational programs. If portions of your record are eligible for expungement, a dedicated attorney could handle the process of filing the petition with the appropriate court. Speak with a Fredericksburg expungement lawyer right away to learn more about what may be possible in your case.

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