Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 10, 2020

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Once you are arrested and fingerprinted in Virginia, you have a criminal record. This record is public and can be viewed by employer(s), friends, and family indefinitely. And contrary to public belief, criminal history records are not automatically sealed after the passage of a period of time.

Whether you need to see an attorney in order to successfully get your record expunged depends in large part on the particular facts of your case. Few expungement requests are cut and dry. The’manifest injustice‘ standard used by judges to determine final expungement status does not make things any easier. Because there are as many different cases and fact patterns as there are judges, speculating about what may convince one judge in one particular jurisdiction is not productive’ unless you are an attorney who has handled expungement cases in Virginia and knows the law and how it applies.

The situation is no less complicated for juvenile criminal history records in Virginia. In general, most law enforcement records of juvenile offenses are considered confidential in Virginia anyway, so you may want to consult an attorney before pursuing the expungement of such a record (if it hasn’t happened or isn’t scheduled to happen automatically anyway).

If your case is at all uncertain, or if you have any questions about the viability of your expungement application, you should always use the services of a qualified Virginia criminal record expungement attorney.

For other articles on Virginia expungement of criminal records, click on the following:

Overview of Virginia Criminal History Record Expungements
Eligibility for Expunging and Sealing Adult Criminal records in Virginia
Process for Expunging Adult Criminal Records in Virginia
Expunging Juvenile Criminal Records in Virginia
Process for Expunging Juvenile Criminal Records in Virginia