Criminal Record Expungements

Expungement is a process by which a record, or a portion thereof, is officially erased or removed after the defendant is not convicted. Criminal record expungement requests are heard by circuit courts, and, under certain conditions, by the general district court according to Virginia’s Judicial System.  Learn more: Virginia Code § 19.2-392.2 – Expungement of police and court records.

Petition Process

The petitioner completes the appropriate petition form(s) that can be found on Virginia’s Judicial System site or above. Forms may also be available at the Walter T. McCarthy Law Library in the Arlington County Court House.

1. Original – for case file, either signed by Court Clerk, or notarized. Indicate notary registration number and place of notarization

2. Make three copies of the Petition or Motion for Expungement

  • One for Commonwealth’s Attorney
  • One for accused
  • One for accused to provide to law enforcement agency

3. Petitioner obtains from a law enforcement agency:

  • One complete set of his/her fingerprints
  • Three copies of the Warrant of Arrest

4. Law enforcement agency forwards to the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE):

  • The fingerprint card
  • The copy of the petition for expungement

5. CCRE conducts a search of the records of the petitioner’s criminal history and return the results to the Court

6. The Court receives the results from CCRE and schedules a hearing

    • Hearings are scheduled for the second Friday following the receipt of the response from CCRE
    • A Friday Motion’s Day at 10 a.m.
    • Notice of the hearing date will be mailed by the Clerk’s Office informing:
      • the Petitioner, and
      • the Commonwealth’s Attorney

7. Upon completion of the hearing, the Court shall return the fingerprint card to the Petitioner.

8. Petitioner shall have a copy of the petition served on the Commonwealth’s Attorney of the city or county in which the Petition or Motion For Expungement is filed.


The non-refundable fee for filing the Petition is $98 ($86 for filing the Petition and $12 for service on the Commonwealth).  Payment may be made by cash; by check or money order made payable to the “Clerk of the Circuit Court”; or by credit card (Mastercard and Visa only; a service charge of four (4) percent of the amount paid will be collected on credit card payments).

Note: Expungements are not granted when the nolle prosequi or dismissal is the result of a suspended imposition of sentence. Your petition will be denied.