Can you clear your criminal record in Virginia?
The state of Virginia does not allow the expungement or sealing of criminal conviction records unless you were granted an absolute pardon for a crime you did not commit.
The only way to get your conviction removed from police records is to appeal against the conviction through the courts.
To have your record expunged, a petition must be filed in the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction where you were originally charged. You will need to be fingerprinted, and there is a waiting period. During that waiting period, the Commonwealth's Attorney receives a copy of the petition, and has an opportunity to object.
A background check for employment in Virginia must comply with FCRA limitations on the length of time that adverse information can be used for employment purposes. The FCRA establishes a seven-year limitation for certain types of information, including some arrest records.
Seven years have passed since the conviction date. You were not convicted of any crime (excluding traffic infractions) anywhere in the U.S. during those seven years. If court records indicate the offense involved the use or dependence of alcohol or drugs, you must demonstrate your rehabilitation.
A criminal record can be cleared in one of two ways: either by having the record sealed or getting the crimes expunged. The difference between the two is that the former closes off the record from public access, whereas the latter makes it seem as if the conviction or arrest never existed.
In Virginia, the expungement process often takes about six (6) months to complete and can take longer in some jurisdictions.
Again, criminal convictions – even for misdemeanors – stay on your record forever in Virginia.
Can I employ someone with a criminal record? Yes. Many employers – including those recruiting health and social care or legal professionals – employ people with criminal records and have incredibly positive experiences of doing so.
A person seeking to have an arrest or criminal conviction expunged from their record usually has to fill out a petition or application, and then submit all required paperwork to the criminal court. Once they have done that, a judge will review the application and make a decision.
How long do police keep records for?
The police can keep some of these records until the subject is 100 years old.
In general, you will likely need to pay $2.00 to get a certified copy of the charge you want expunged; $86.00 to file the petition; $12.00 to serve the petition on the Commonwealth's Attorney; $10.00 to obtain a fingerprint card; and, legal costs to your attorney to process the expungement.
Expect to pay anywhere from $650-1,100 for a misdemeanor. Some attorneys offer “flat fees” for expungement, this could save you money by limiting the amount the attorney can charge you for their time.
If the person was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense (i.e. legally considered to be an adult), then the conviction will be expunged from their record 11 years after the conviction date (not the offense date).
In Illinois, you can seal almost all felonies. Over the last several years, Illinois felony expungement law has expanded to include most criminal cases. When you seal your record, it gets hidden from the general public, employers, licensing agencies, and landlords. Your record will also not appear on background checks.