Under Virginia law, it is highly unlikely that you can get a record expunged if you pled guilty.
There are exceptions to the general rule, such as a Governor’s pardon or if you were found guilty as a juvenile. But n most cases, you must have been found not guilty, or the charge itself was otherwise dismissed by the government, to get the record expunged and sealed.
Several Virginia circuit courts have held that an individual who has been found guilty of a charge cannot get it expunged from their criminal record.
In Sanderlin v. Commonwealth, 58 Va. Cir. 375 (Norfolk 2002), the petitioner sought expungement under Virginia law of a criminal charge. Unfortunately, the petitioner had pled guilty to the crime and was found guilty of the crime. Accordingly, the Court denied the petition of expungement.
In Brown v. Commonwealth, 60 Va. Cir. 214 (Fairfax County 2002), the defendant was charged and convicted with criminal contempt for failing to appear. Therefore, the Court denied the petition for expungement.
In Woodward v. Commonwealth, 68 Va. Cir. 66 (Fairfax County 2005), the defendant pled guilty to two counts of burglary. He sought to expunge the criminal charges and challenged whether his guilty plea was property taken. The Court denied the petition for expungement and held that an individual cannot challenge the validity of their guilty plea under the expungement statute.
Do You Qualify for Expungement?
If you need help cleaning up your criminal record for a job or school, speak with a Virginia expungement lawyer for more information. Every case is different, and an experienced lawyer can help see if you qualify.