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 courts. Learn more: Virginia Code § 19.2-392.2 – Expungement of police and court records.
Petitioner completes the appropriate petition. Sample forms can be found on the Virginia’s Judicial System website or above. Forms may also be available at the Walter T. McCarthy Law Library in the Arlington County Court House. Original petition may be signed by a deputy clerk, or notarized. Indicate notary registration number and place of notarization.
1. Petitioner must obtain three copies of the Warrant of Arrest
2. Petitioner makes three copies of the Petition or Motion for Expungement
- One copy to be served on the Commonwealth’s Attorney
- One copy to provide law enforcement agency with the request for fingerprints
- One copy for the petitioner
3. Petitioner obtains from a law enforcement agency:
- One complete set of fingerprints. Petitioner must provide a copy of the Petition for Expungement and warrant of arrest to the law enforcement agency
- The Arlington County Sheriff’s office processes fingerprint requests Mon. – Thurs. 1:30 to 3:30pm. The Sheriff’s office is located at 1425 N. Courthouse Road, 9th Floor, Arlington VA. Petitioner must present a valid driver’s license/ID, or U.S. passport. The processing fee is $15.00, and must be paid in cash.
4. Law enforcement agency forwards to the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE):
- The fingerprint card
- A 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 along with the fingerprint card
7. Hearings on expungements are scheduled on the Civil Motions docket (Fridays at 10 a.m.). Upon completion of the hearing, the Court shall return the fingerprint card to the Petitioner.
The fee for an expungement is $98.00 ($86.00 for filing the Petition and $12.00 for service by the Sheriff on the Commonwealth’s Attorney). Payment may be made by cash, check or money order made payable to the “Clerk of the Circuit Court”; or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover 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.