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What is a Criminal Record?

Many people do not realize that even when their arrest did not lead to conviction, they still have a criminal record. This is particularly unfair for the innocent person that a jury acquits or for whom the prosecution drops its charges because it realizes that officers arrested the wrong person. By consulting a Virginia Beach expungement attorney, you can find out about vacating or sealing arrest records and related court proceedings.

Criminal records are simply records that police authorities keep about people’s arrests and convictions. Local, state and federal governments keep databases containing criminal histories that authorities can cross-reference for everything ranging from traffic tickets to felony convictions. Prospective employers, adoption agencies, licensing authorities, immigration officers and others may discover you have a criminal record when doing a background check. Generally, criminal histories are public information, open to anyone. A criminal record can damage your prospects for obtaining a job, a loan or credit for buying a home. If you are a green card holder or present in the United States on a visa, a criminal record can lead to deportation. Virginia statutes allow you to have your arrest records and court proceedings sealed or vacated under certain circumstances, such as the following:

  • Case dismissal
  • Identity theft
  • Pardon
  • Acquittal
  • Misdemeanor with no prior criminal record

By consulting a Norfolk expungement attorney, you can receive the legal assistance necessary for expunging your criminal record.

Messman Law, PLC works with clients to defend their rights in criminal cases and help them obtain expungements.