In D.W. v. Commonwealth, 72 Va Cir. 132 (Charlottesville 2006), the petitioner was charged with several crimes, including sexual battery. As part of a plea bargain, the sexual battery charge was ultimately dismissed by the prosecutor.
After the charge was dismissed, the petitioner obtained the help of a lawyer to file a petition with the court to obtain an expungement of the police records and court records related to the sexual battery. He had not plead guilty to the charge, and in fact, it had been dismissed. Therefore, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.2, he asked the court to grant the expungement.
Why did the petitioner want to expunge the sexual battery charge and permanently seal the police and court records? Understandably, the petitioner wanted to avoid any prejudice in applying for jobs and housing in the future associated with having been charged with a serious crime.
The Court agreed with the petitioner that the (a) charge had been dismissed and (b) it would be a manifest injustice to keep the charge on his criminal record. Note, it is not enough to simply show that the charge was dismissed; he needed to show that it would be unjust to keep the charge on his record, and presumably his attorney helped him adequately present that issue to the court.
With the sexual battery charge expunged, any police and court records associated with it were permanently sealed. Whenever an employer or landlord might run a background check in the future, the charge would no longer show up.
Do You Qualify?
If you need help cleaning up your criminal record for a job, school, or security clearance, contact a Virginia expungement lawyer for more information.