Caroline County Expungement Lawyer

It is no secret that an arrest could follow you for the rest of your life. In some cases, the laws in Caroline County could allow you to erase your arrest record if you meet certain conditions. The process of removing your arrest record from public view is known as expungement.

The expungement process can be challenging, and many will not meet the qualifications. For those that do, a skilled criminal attorney could help them clear their record of an arrest.

While there is no process that will allow you to remove a criminal conviction, expunging a prior arrest could make a tremendous difference in your life. Given what is at stake, you could benefit from working closely with a Caroline County expungement lawyer.

Eligibility for Expungement in Caroline County

Expungement is only a possibility under certain circumstances. While this option may not be available to anyone with a criminal conviction, many people who have never been convicted of a crime suffer from an arrest on their record. Prospective employers or landlords that perform background checks could see the arrest, for instance.

This process is not available to anyone that has been convicted of the crime associated with the arrest. This covers more than just a conviction at trial. A person that pleaded guilty to a crime is not eligible, even if they never served a day behind bars.

Expungement is available to certain individuals that lack a conviction. One common example is a person who was acquitted of the charge at trial. In some cases, the dismissal of a criminal charge could also provide grounds for expungement. If the Commonwealth’s Attorney retains the right to re-file charges, expungement may have to wait.

While expungement might seem limited to a small number of people, the potential benefits for those that are eligible could be life-changing. With the help of a Caroline County attorney, expungement could be an option.

Removing Criminal Records for Public View

The process for expungement is set out in Code of Virginia 192.-392.2. The expungement process begins with a document known as a petition. A Caroline County resident or their lawyer must file the petition in the county where the underlying case originated. In addition to filing the petition, the filer must also provide written notice to the Commonwealth’s Attorney. At this time, the person filing the petition must also submit their fingerprints to the court. Using these fingerprints, the court will obtain conviction records from the Central Criminal Records Exchange.

Under the law, the prosecutor has 21 days to respond to the petition. If they disagree with the request, they must file a written objection in the case before the deadline expires.

If an objection is filed, the court will set a hearing date. Both sides will have the opportunity to call witnesses and make their case. To grant a petition, the court must make three determinations:

  • Good cause for the expungement exists
  • The filer meets the statutory requirements
  • The records in question are not protected by law

Work with a Caroline County Expungement Attorney

The expungement process can take some time. In addition to the time to prepare the petition, you could also wait months for the petition to be granted.

To give yourself the best chance of a successful expungement, you could benefit from working with an attorney. Your counsel could ensure you qualify and that your petition is free of errors. To begin the process, call a Caroline County expungement lawyer right away.