Even without a conviction, an arrest can have wide-ranging, negative effects on your life. A not guilty verdict or charge dismissal will not automatically clear your name.
For some people here in Virginia, there exists the option to remove the arrest from their record and wipe the slate clean. This is known as an "expungement." At Whitestone Young, PC, of Fairfax, our experienced criminal defense lawyers can help you evaluate your options and pursue an expungement.
How Do I Qualify?
Every state in the country has its own laws for expungement and record sealing. To qualify for an expungement here in Virginia, you can only expunge an arrest from your record if you were found not guilty or the charges were dismissed.
If you were found guilty or accepted a plea deal for a lesser charge, you cannot expunge the arrest. For example, if you were arrested on first-degree murder charges and pled guilty to second-degree murder, you cannot expunge the first-degree murder arrest.
To receive the expungement, you will need to prove that the arrest is a hardship on your life. For example, it may be affecting your ability to find a job.
Talk To An Attorney About Your Options
The expungement process requires paperwork and other steps that you must complete correctly. Our lawyers will sit down with you, evaluate your arrest and case, and help you determine the best way to proceed. We will guide you through the expungement process so that you avoid any errors that could hurt your case.
If you are successful, your arrest record will disappear. If that was the only arrest in your life, you will be able to answer "no" to any questions on applications asking if you have been arrested. You will get the fresh start you deserve.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation at our office in Fairfax today by sending us an email or by calling 703-591-0200.