Filing for Expungement in Virginia for Records in Fairfax, Prince William, Alexandria, and Arlington Virginia.
What is an Expungement in Virginia of criminal records?
An Expungement in Virginia an action that removes police and court records relating to a criminal offense from public access. An Expungement in Northern Virginia is available when the original case resulted in an acquittal, dismissal, nolle prosequi, absolute pardon or a case of a name used in error. If a record is expunged the information is taken out of the public record and is only allowed to be accessed by court order.
Expungement in Northern Virginia is based on the Virginia code. If you would like to view the Virginia statute please see the Va code section 19.2-392.2 here.
What is the first step in getting an Expungement In Virginia for Criminal Record?
The first step in getting an Expungement in Virginia is to obtain a copy of your police and court records to determine whether you qualify for an Expungement. If you feel you qualify for an Expungement in Virginia you will need to have these records.
How do I know if I qualify for an Expungement in Virginia of Records?
There are several circumstances where a record can be expunged. The first is if the case resulted in an acquittal. An acquittal is when a person went to trial and was found not guilty. Another circumstance where Expungement in Virginia is available is if the persons charged with the offense was granted an absolute pardon. An absolute pardon can be given if the Governor of Virginia believes the court was wrong when finding the person guilty. In this case the Governor’s opinion supersedes the courts and the person is pardoned. To be eligible for a pardon the accused must have maintained their innocence throughout the proceedings. This means that the accused party cannot have at any point pleaded guilty to the crime. To receive an absolute pardon the accused must have exhausted all possible appeals an also filed a writ of actual innocence with the attorney general. After all of these options have been tried the accused may seek an actual pardon. If the accused receives the actual pardon they are then eligible for an Expungementin Virginia.
Cases involving a name error constitutes another area where Expungement is an option. Name error relates to cases involving a person whose arrest was based on their name being used without their consent or a victim of identity theft. These cases are eligible for Expungement. In cases of identity theft the petitioner may want to contact the Victim Notification Program of The Office of the Attorney general at 804-786-2071 to obtain information about identity theft.
The last area of Expungement in Virginia involves nolle prosequi and dismissal. Nolle prosequi and dismissal involve a charge being dropped before it reaches trial. The distinction between the two is that a charge that has been subject to nolle prosequi is dropped by the prosecutor whereas a dismissal is dropped by a judge. It should be noted that delayed imposition dismissals are not eligible for Expungement. Determining whether you qualify for an Expungement in Northern Virginia is a complicated decision to make. There are Expungement attorneys located in Springfield, Va, just minutes from Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax City, that can help you make this decision and ensure your Expungement is handled properly.
What is the next step I need to take to get an Expungement in Virginia?
The next step in getting an Expungement in Virginia is to compose a petition for Expungement in Virginia. A petition for Expungement in Fairfax County starts with filling out Form CC-1473. To complete Form CC-1473 you will need to include:
- Court case number.
- Court name.
- Street address of court.
- Name of petitioner.
- Check the applicable box concerning whether your charge was an acquitted, nolle prosequi, or dismissed.
- Date of birth of petitioner.
- Full name of petitioner at the time of arrest.
- List of criminal charge(s) petitioner seeks to have expunged.
- General District Court case number(s), if applicable.
- An indication of whether copy of the warrant or indictment is attached.
- Insert court case number(s) associated with the charges sought be expunged.
- Insert date of arrest for the charge(s) sought to be expunged.
- The name of the arresting agency.
- Check applicable box(es) if the information indicated is not available and state the reason the information is not available on the blank lines.
- Insert date of final disposition of charge(s) sought to be expunged
- Insert name of court disposing of charge(s).
- Insert date Petition is signed.
- Signature of petitioner or attorney for petitioner. Check applicable box under the line.
- Print name of individual signing the Petition.
- Insert address and telephone number of individual signing the Petition and check applicable box under the line.
A copy of Form CC-1473 can be found at http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/.circuit/cc1473.pdf
In Prince William County the Petition process is slightly different. Instead of filing form CC-1473 you must submit the Petition in your own writing. The Petition will need to contain the following information
- Your/ Petioners Full Name
- The dates of arrest and the name of the arresting agency (if this information is unavailable include the reason for the unavailability)
- The specific criminal charges to be expunged.
- The disposition of the charges, i.e., dismissed, acquitted, nolle prosequi, ect.
- Your/Petitioners date of birth
- Your/Petitioners full name at the time of arrest
- Statement that the Petitioner has no prior record and that no good cause exists as to why thePetitioner’s record of arrest should not be expunged.
- Statement that the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating to the arrest of the petitioner causes or may cause circumstances which constitute a manifest injustice to the petitioner.
- Statement that the petitioner is entitled to relief as provided under Section 19.2-392.2 of the code of Virginia, as amended, and is entitled to have the police and court records relating to the criminal charge set forth and the warrant expunged. Wherefore your petitioner, respectfully moves this court to enter an order requiring Expungement of the police and court records relating to the charge provided by statute and such further relief as the court may deem appropriate. I ask for this:
- Signature, typed name, typed address, typed phone number.
A sample outline for the Prince William County Petition can be found at http://www.pwcgov.org/government/courts/circuit/Documents/007830.pdf
You may want to seek council when filing an Expungement Petition. There are Lawyers specializing in Expungement Petitions located in Springfield Va, just minutes from Annandale, Lorton and Vienna that can help get your Expungement Petition submitted properly.
What else will you need to submit?
In Fairfax County along with the Petition for Expungement you will need to submit An Order of Expungement Form CC-1474, along with Affidavits supporting your claims. The Order of Expungement can be found at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/courts/circuit/pdf/expungement-order-cc-1474.pdf. You will also need to include a completed circuit court form CC-1416, COVER SHEET FOR FILING CIVIL ACTIONS, the cover sheet can be found at http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/circuit/cc1416.pdf.
In Prince William County you will also need to include An Order of Expungement. A sample outline containing the type of information you need to include can be found at http://www.pwcgov.org/government/courts/circuit/Documents/007830.pdf
You will also need to include a form CC-1416, COVER SHEET FOR FILING CIVIL ACTIONS, the cover sheet can be found at http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/circuit/cc1416.pdf.
In both Fairfax and Prince William Counties you will need to include copies of the police and court records to be expunged. There is a $98.00 fee associated with filing the petition.
How do you submit the Expungement package?
In Fairfax County you must submit 5 copies of the Petition for Expungement with the Court and Police records to be expunged and the Order of Expungement attached. One copy will go to the Court, this one will include the $98.00 filing fee and the CC-1416 Cover Sheet. The second will be given to the Commonwealth Attorney who will have 21 days to file an objection or answer to the Petition. The Third and Fourth copies will be returned to you to take to The Fairfax County Police Department. The last will be returned to you for your own record.
The Petition for Expungement can be filed in person at the Fairfax County Circuit Court or mailed to:
Fairfax Circuit Court
Attention: Civil Intake 3rd Floor
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
In Prince William County the process is similar except you only need to submit 4 copies of the Petition for Expungement with the Court and Police records to be expunged and the Order of Expungement attached. One copy will go to the Court, this one will include the $98.00 filing fee and the CC-1416 Cover Sheet. The second will be given to the Commonwealth Attorney who will have 21 days to file an objection or answer to the Petition. The Third copy will be returned to you to take to The Prince William County Police Department, City of Manassas or City of Manassas Park Police Department. The last will be returned to you for your own record.
The Petition for Expungement should be filed at the Prince William County Circuit Court Civil Division, 9311 Lee Avenue, Room 314, Manassas VA 20110-5598. Submitting your Expungement package properly can be a difficult and complex procedure. There are Attorneys in Springfield, Va, just miles from Manassas, Herndon and Burke that specialize in Expungement. Hiring an Expungement Attorney can ensure that your case is handled properly.
What is the next step in seeking an Expungement in Virginia?
The next step in seeking an Expungement in Northern Virginia is to submit a copy of the Expungement package to the police department. In Fairfax County you will need to submit two copies of the Expungement package. One copy will be retained by the police department. The other will be sent to the Virginia state police for a background check. In Prince William County you will only need to submit one copy.
Next, you will need to request a set of fingerprint cards. The set of fingerprints will be sent with your petition to the Virginia State Police. In order to receive the new set of fingerprints you will need to present to the police two sets of identification containing your name and date of birth. One form of identification must be a photo identification. There may be a fee of up to $10.00 for the fingerprint request.
Once the State Police have completed the background check they will forward the results of the background check to the court.
What is the next step in seeking Expungement in Northern Virginia after the fingerprints and Expungement Petition have been sent to the Virginia State Police?
The next step in obtaining an Expungement in Virginia is to determine whether the results of the background check have been received by the court. It is typical for the results to take up to four weeks or longer for the court to receive the results. It is your job to contact the circuit court and determine if the results are in. If the court says the results have been received then you must then request a hearing date. Set a hearing date with the court. Realize that you must come in on your hearing date so it is very important to set a hearing date that you will be able to attend. Failure to show up to your hearing may result in having to re file the entire Expungement Petition from the beginning.
What do you need to do after the hearing date has been set?
If the court agrees to set a hearing it is then your job to notify the Criminal Division and the Commonwealth’s Attorney of the hearing date. This is done by filing a Notice of Hearing.
The Notice of Hearing should contain the following.
- The name of the circuit court hearing the Petition
- The Case Number assigned to you
- Your Full name
- The address of the Commonwealth Attorney.
- The date and time of the hearing
- Your signature, typed name, address, and phone number
- A signed and dated Certificate of Service Clause
You must file your Notice of Hearing two weeks in advance of the hearing date in Prince William County and three days in advance of the hearing in Fairfax County. A sample of a Notice of Hearing for Fairfax County can be found at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/courts/circuit/pdf/ccr-a-36.pdf. A sample Notice of Hearing for Prince William County can be found at http://www.pwcgov.org/government/courts/circuit/Documents/007830.pdf.
What happens next in the Expungement process?
The last step in the Expungement process is to show up to court on your hearing day. You should bring a copy of your Expungement Order with you. If the judge finds in your favor the judge will enter the Order issuing your Expungement. Once the judge issues the Expungement Order the clerk’s office will send the order to the Virginia State Police who will then begin to expunge the records. This process can take up to 180 days to complete. Alternatively the Judge could deny your Expungement Petition dismissing it or decide to have a continuance. If the judge issues the Expungement or dismisses it this completes your role in the Expungement process. Be sure that your Expungement case is not dismissed unnecessarily. There are Expungement Lawyers located just outside of Tysons Corner, Woodbridge and Chantilly that can help you with the entire process of getting an Expungement .