Any criminal conviction—including one for a DUI—can jeopardize your ability to get an education, pursue a career, or even find a place to live. Employers, landlords, colleges, and banks regularly conduct criminal background checks on applicants, and having a conviction of any kind can jeopardize your access to jobs, loans, college grants, and certain state licenses. One possible solution to this dilemma is to have your criminal record expunged. An expungement is the legal process through which a criminal conviction resulting from a guilty plea, no contest plea, or finding of guilt by a judge or jury is sealed from public view.
Criminal Records in Virginia
In Virginia, your criminal record includes all of your arrests—even if some of them were dismissed, rejected, never filed, or didn’t result in a conviction. This record is available to the public, and DUI or reckless driving arrests will remain on your record for life.
The most common reasons to petition a court for expungement include:
- Employment opportunities
- College or university enrollment
- Serving as a volunteer (particularly when working with children)
Virginia Expungements Are Difficult to Obtain
Some states permit the expungement of both criminal charges and convictions. Unfortunately, under Virginia law the expungement process is typically available only if the criminal charge did not result in a plea deal or guilty verdict. If you were convicted, expungement is generally not possible. Petitioning the court for expungement is a complicated process that requires obtaining a copy of your fingerprints, filing paperwork with various entities, and serving the Commonwealth Attorney’s office.
You Need an Attorney
Having a criminal conviction expunged may not be possible in Virginia, but if there were extenuating circumstances surrounding your DUI conviction, it may be worth looking into. Don’t face the expungement process alone. An experienced local DUI defense attorney can guide you every step of the way, and will always be your best source of information regarding DUI expungement. Contact the law offices of Tavss Fletcher using the form below to discuss your case today.