In Virginia, records relating to convictions cannot be expunged / removed from a person's criminal record. However, in some circumstances records relating to arrests for offenses which did not result in conviction can be expunged. Whether records relating to arrests for offenses which were subsequently dismissed can be expunged in Virginia depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. Some of the factors which come into play in Virginia are whether the arrest was for a misdemeanor or a felony, what exactly happened in court, whether the person has a criminal history, and whether the continued presence of the arrest record could cause unfair problems for the person.
If the person does not have a criminal record and the arrest was for a misdemeanor, Virginia law allows for expungement and if the government opposes it the burden is on the government to prove why the expungement should not be granted. However, if the person has a criminal record and / or the arrest was for a felony offense, then Virginia law says the person seeking the expungement has to prove why the expungement should be granted. Essentially, the petitioner must prove the continued existence of the records relating to the arrest is unfair and creates an undue hardship - the term used in the statute is "manifest injustice."
If you have a Virginia arrest for a charge which was later dismissed on your criminal record and you would like to have the Virginia arrest removed / expunged from your record, call The Wilson Law Firm at 703-361-6100 and we'll be happy to discuss the situation with you in more detail.