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I hold a master’s degree in Information technology and cannot find work because I always fail background checks as a result of a petty larceny charge in my record. I was a first time offender for petty larceny an act that I did not commit. A friend/room mate that I always pick up from work gave me the items to take home because she had to work in her second job and did not want to carry it to her other job. she worked in retail and said the store was running special sales for associates. I was in the store where I also made a few purchase whilst I waited for her to close. unknowingly that they were stolen, unknown to me the cameras caught the act and as I was going into my car the police came and took me to the station. She was also arrested and both were bailed on our own recognizance. Before the day of court she fled to her country and I was left with the trouble. I had a plea deal to reduce the charge from felony grand larceny to petty larcenytotal of the goods was 430 with 10 days jail time.
It has been 12 years I have not been able to find work in my field of information technology. I could only work a menial job in customer service with the airlines. I have huge pending student loans. My husband had a severe stroke and now disabled. I am in charge of all my bills and am in grave debt and risk to lose our house. After all these years earning now 15. hour my airport badge which is now handled by us customs was denied for renewal. I fail all back ground checks as a result of the petty larceny charge . My life is devastating and I do not know what to do

Asked on January 29, 2019 under Criminal Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your state is Virginia. Most states allow most misdemeanors to be expunged, if you have an otherwise clean record, but not VA. VA only allows expungement of charges if you were not convicted (e.g. acquited at trial); if you were pardoned; if the prosecutor decided to not prosecute; if you were the victim of ID theft and it was the person who stole your ID who committed the crime; or if this was a crime (like assault) that the victim could have sued you for AND the victim wrote in to the court, stating in writing that they received full satisfaction or compensation from you for the crime. None of those situations apply based on what you write (pleading to a lesser crime is the same as being convicted of it, for example) so you do not appear to be able to expunge this.

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