How would I go about getting my price alter/petty theft conviction off my record?

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How would I go about getting my price alter/petty theft conviction off my record?

About 2 1/2 years ago, I stole a small item valued at less than $10. A friend dared me to. How would I go about getting my record clean when I was charged guilty. I just turned 18 at the time. Had a month of probation. I paid all my bills. Learned my lesson and grew up since then. I’m still facing consequences. Also, how much money am I looking into if I were to go to court to have this expunged or sealed?

Asked on August 17, 2012 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Convictions are very hard to get off your record in Virginia because the expunction statute specifically provides for only those case where a person is "actually innocent."  If you pled guilty, the judge probably found you guilty-- thus it's difficult to assert the "actual innocence" component.  However, there may be some exceptions or leaway depending on whether you were on a regular probation or a deferred probation, how you pled, and what the judge did (or filed) with your case after you completed the probation.  You need to have an attorney look at your records to see if one of these limited expections applies to you.  It will be cheaper if you do some of the leg work.  Go to the clerk and request a certified copy of your entire file (not just the judgment).  The attorney will need to see the agreements and stipulations that you signed.  The attorney will also need to see all of the orders entered by the judge.  If you do qualify, then you are looking at anywhere from $500-$2000 in legal and filing fees-- depending on the complexity of your case and the billing rate of the attorney that you select.  Get a consultation first to see if you even qualify before you put out any big money-- if you'v already done the leg work, some attorney's will give you a free or very inexpensive consultation.


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