DUI Expungement in Virginia
A DUI/DWI can be expunged under certain circumstances. When someone has been charged with the crime of DUI/DWI and has since had all charges dropped, the case dismissed, or they were found not guilty at trial. the purpose of allowing for DUI/DWI, or any criminal offense, to be expunged is because the state recognizes that criminal records, police reports and any file on someone may be a hindrance to obtaining employment, admission to schools. Also, one may have their record expunged if another person used their name or identification upon arrest.
In order to obtain an expungement one must first file a petition with the court. The petition must contain the exact criminal charge which is sought to be expunged, the date the disposition was determined, petitioners date of birth, and the full name used by the petitioner at the time of his/her arrest. Attached to the petition must be a copy of the warrant or indictment. If they are not available, attached to the petition must be an explanation as to why the warrant and indictment were unavailable. A copy of the petition will be served to the attorney representing the commonwealth (state). The attorney for the commonwealth has twenty-one days to file an objection or an answer to the petition. A copy of the petition must also be shown to the police station in order for the petitioner to obtain a complete set of his/her fingerprints. The department will transfer the fingerprints over to the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE) who will then send, under seal, the fingerprints, criminal record, and other related documents which resulted in the entry which the petition seeks to have expunged.
Once the records reach the court a hearing will be held. If the court decides that it would be a manifest injustice for this information to stay on the petitioner’s record and for the information to possibly be shared they will order the information requested to be expunged from the petitioner’s record. If the petitioner has no prior criminal record and the charge to be expunged is a misdemeanor the expungement shall be granted, so long as the commonwealth does not have good reason to support a different decision. Regardless of the decision, any person who is upset, hurt, and otherwise bothered by the decision they have the right to appeal.
If the expungement is requested because the person named was, in fact, not the person arrested the court shall enter an order having all the documents and records regarding the charge in question be expunged. Also, when one has received a pardon from a crime he/she did not commit they may petition to have the charge expunged from his/her record. When the court receives a writ vacating the conviction from the petitioner’s record they are to enter an order requiring the records of the petitioner to be expunged. Once the expungement is ordered the clerk of the court will shall have a copy of such order sent to the Department of State Police who will decide the manner which the expungement order shall be carried out.
If an order is issued which did not comply with the procedure set out in the statute the expungement may be voidable upon notice so long as such notice is made within three years of the expungement. Also, an expungement may be voided when the expungement was issued contrary to the laws of the state.
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