Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Expungements In Manassas
People often believe that having their criminal charge expunged means it is “deleted” from the court system. An expungement, however, is the sealing of a criminal record. When a criminal record is sealed, it is only accessible through court order. A court order is extremely difficult to obtain for the average citizen. If your record is expunged, it will not be visible to the public. This is particularly useful for employment and school.
How To Expunge Or Seal A Criminal Record In Prince William County, Virginia
Each Virginia court has a slightly different process when it comes to the expungement of criminal records. In Prince William County, the first step is to obtain a certified copy of your warrant. You may do this by visiting the Prince William County courthouse. You will need to make five additional copies of the certified copy. Secondly, you will need to prepare a Petition for Expungement and make five copies. This form is known as the CC-1473 form. Next, you will need to prepare an expungement order, which is referred to as the CC-1474 form.
You will then take the six petitions, six copies of the warrant, and one copy of the expungement order to the Circuit Court of Prince William County to be filed. The clerk will return three copies to you. You will then be required to visit the Prince William County Police Department to have your fingerprints taken. This step must be completed in order to have your Hearing on Expungement Petition heard before a judge. Once you have your fingerprints taken, the police department will then forward your fingerprint card to the Virginia State Police. The VA State Police then forward the fingerprint card along with a criminal history background check to the Prince William County Circuit Court. This process typically takes between four and six weeks. Once the clerk in the circuit court has received this information, a hearing may be scheduled.
Do I Need To Hire A Lawyer For My Expungement In Virginia?
It is not necessary that you hire a lawyer to do your expungement for you. However, most individuals choose to retain a criminal lawyer to help them with the process as there are several steps involved. Our attorneys have handled countless expungements in Manassas. Depending on the original charge and the disposition of the charge, you may qualify for an expungement. If you are unsure as to whether or not your situation would be eligible for an expungement, contact our Virginia criminal lawyers to discuss your case for free: (703) 542-1803.