DUI Expungement Eligibility & Requirements in Virginia
DUI expungement is a legal action that allows a person to hide certain criminal records from public access in Virginia, such as dismissed charges for a felony or misdemeanor. This process does not destroy the criminal records completely. Rather, expungement in Virginia shields the criminal records from the public sphere, requiring a court order for access.
As provided in Code of Virginia Section 19.2-392.2, expungement of criminal records is only available in the following situations:
- Acquittal — The accused individual was declared innocent ;
- Nolle Prosequi — The prosecutor abandoned or withdrew the charge;
- Dismissal — The court dismissed the charge, voluntarily or involuntarily;
- Mistaken Identity — The accused individual’s name was used in error or fraudulently; or
- Absolute Pardon — The accused individual received an absolute pardon for a crime they did not commit.
Individuals granted absolute pardons and victims of identity theft are exempt from certain expungement requirements, including the standard costs and fees.
In order to request expungement of a criminal record, Section 19.2-392.2 requires the following documents:
- Signed and dated original copy of the Petition for Expungement of Record;
- Certified copy of the court records for charge and final disposition;
- Five additional copies of the documents above;
- Order of Expungement; and
- Three stamped envelopes with complete addresses to send the fingerprint card and copies of the final order.
Using several of the documents above, it is possible to obtain a fingerprint card from the county police department and then get a criminal history check with the state police.
In most situations, Section 19.2-392.2 requires an applicant for expungement to submit their fingerprints to county law enforcement, which provides a fingerprint card. There is an exception for absolute pardons. Those individuals are not required to obtain a fingerprint card for expungement purposes.
Otherwise, an updated fingerprint card is required for every expungement request. Even if the applicant formerly submitted their fingerprints for a previous expungement request, they must go through the process again. In order to do so, the applicant must visit their county police department, bring two forms of identification, and pay the required fee.
The county police department will take fingerprints and create a set of fingerprint cards. Finally, the county police forwards the fingerprint cards and petition for expungement to the state police for a criminal record check.
At the end of the expungement process, a state court will return the fingerprint cards to the applicant, although, in certain cases, the state court may destroy the fingerprint cards to avoid disclosure. Return or destruction of the fingerprint cards occurs whether or not the court grants the request for expungement.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you have legal questions about DUI expungement in Virginia, it can be tremendously helpful to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney. The Leesburg DUI expungement attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have assisted numerous clients with the process of expunging criminal records. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.