Alexandria Expungement Process 

Expungement refers to the process of having criminal charges erased from your record if you are eligible. The expungement process can be difficult to undertake alone. If you want to know more about the Alexandria expungement process, speak with a seasoned expungement attorney that could help you and guide you through the process.

Duration of the Expungement Process

The Alexandria expungement process takes between two and four months in Alexandria. Once the petition is filed with the court, the first step is that the Commonwealth attorney has the opportunity to file an answer. They have 21 days in which to do that. As that is happening, the person needs to get fingerprinted and submit those fingerprints in accordance with the process set in place by the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction in which to file the petition.

Once the court has everything they need, they set a hearing date. That hearing date is going to be anywhere from two to four months after the date the petition was filed. Usually, it is around 90 days, but they say somewhere between two to four months because the process takes time and they have to find an open date on the court calendar where they are able to hear it.

Under What Circumstances Might the Expungement Process take Longer than Normal?

Circumstances in which the expungement process might take longer than normal in Alexandria include if the charge someone is seeking to have expunged is an older charge and not immediately accessible in the clerk’s office of the courthouse. Sometimes paperwork is archived. Sometimes it is sent to another location. It could take some time to recover that paperwork, because the court needs to see a copy of the documentation that exists in the clerk’s office that pertains to the underlying charge being either dismissed or the person is found not guilty.

Description of the Expungement Process

The Alexandria expungement process begins when the person seeking the expungement files a petition in the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction in which they were charged with the crime they are seeking to have expunged. The government has 21 days in which to respond. While that is going on, the petitioner needs to get fingerprinted and submit their fingerprints to the court. Once the court has everything they need, the court sets down a hearing date. At the hearing date, the court considers all of the evidence and the claim made by the petitioner and makes a determination whether or not the expungement is proper.

First Thing a Lawyer Could Help an Individual Could Help With

The first thing a lawyer would do when dealing with an expungement in Alexandria is to make sure the individual is eligible for that expungement. There a lot of people out there who think they are eligible for expungement because they were charged and not convicted. That is not true. They have to be found not guilty or have the charge dismissed on their merits.

If a court makes a finding that the facts are sufficient for a finding of guilt, continues the case for period of time, and dismisses it because the defendant completed a set of conditions and stayed out of trouble during that timeframe, they are not eligible for it. It is important to make sure they are eligible for it so no one is wasting their time and resources pursuing something for which they are not eligible.

Value of an Alexandria Expungement Attorney

It is important to seek the services of a skilled lawyer when looking to expunge a record because someone that does expungements regularly is going to understand the Alexandria expungement process and could guide you through the process. You probably do not want to be wasting a lot of time figuring this out and having to potentially go back and forth with the clerk’s office trying to get it right. The clerk’s job is not to provide legal advice. The clerk’s job is process cases. Certain clerks may guide you in the right direction, but it is for them to figure all this out. An accomplished expungement attorney could fight for you.