When you are charged with a crime, the stress can be overwhelming. Many people mistakenly believe that if they are not convicted of a crime, then their record is “clean”. This isn’t exactly true. If you were charged with a crime and were found not guilty or the charge was nolle prosequi’d (not prosecuted / dropped), the police and court records do not automatically disappear. The original charge remains part of the public court files, part of the police records, and will appear if anyone runs your criminal record. Even though you weren’t convicted of a crime, these records can have a negative impact on your employment and housing opportunities.
Thankfully, there is a way to fix this. In Virginia, a person charged with a criminal offense that is later dismissed or nolle prosequi’d can petition to have those records expunged. Va. Code § 19.2-392.2. Expungement is the process by which the physical record of the charge is sealed and the computerized record of the charge is erased. If you have criminal charges in Virginia that were dismissed or nolle prosequi’d, you should consider pursuing expungement of those records so that they do not affect your chances of securing employment or housing in the future. After all, who really wants to check the “yes” box when the application asks, “Have you ever been charged with a crime?”
If this sounds like your situation, then consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand your options for expungement. At Biberaj Snow & Sinclair, PC, we have over 60 years of combined experience helping our clients with criminal defense and expungements. If you want your eligible cases expunged, we should be your first and only choice for great service and results.