Virginia DUI Arrest Records
Under all circumstances, arrest records are public records. However, that does not mean that arrest records following a DUI arrest in Virginia will be in newspapers and more public areas. They are not, as a rule, published. They are just stored at the court in the court’s clerk’s office and with the police. Whether they are published or not depends on whether or not it is a high-profile individual or perhaps an extraordinary case that merits the attention.
There are a lot of places that will have a local newspaper that talks about crime and people who are arrested, but those are not published by the government. That is somebody from the newspaper or from the internet site that physically goes to the courthouse or to the police station and pulls all the arrest records for their information. In larger jurisdictions, people generally do not have time to do that. If you need more information regarding arrest records relating to DUIs, contact an experienced Virginia lawyer.
Consequences of a Public Arrest Record
Having a public arrest record for a DUI in Virginia means that anybody who is doing a background check is going to be able to find out that a person was charged with a crime. This can be damaging in a number of different ways, but most notably in the employment sense. Employers want to know what a person’s criminal history is and they are going to have to, under most circumstances, sign something that allows them to search prior criminal history. If there is an arrest, they will find it and that could create doubt as to whether or not they want to hire that person.
Mug shots are a matter of public record so they are always available to the public. Whether or not a person publishes the mug shots is dependent on the case and the DUI profile.
Sealing or Expunging Records
Virginia does have a process by which a person can expunge arrest records. However, that does not necessarily mean what most people think it means. An expungement is a legal term in Virginia that specifies that a person may have the arrest record destroyed if, and only if, they are found not guilty or their charge is dismissed on the merits. If they are found guilty, then the arrest record cannot ever be expunged.
The Virginia DUI arrest records remain a matter of public record until a person takes action. They certainly will have the right, if they are acquitted, to file an expungement petition in the circuit court of that jurisdiction to have those arrest records expunged.
Contacting a DUI Lawyer
If a person is afraid of Virginia DUI arrest records following an incident, then they should contact a professional lawyer immediately. An attorney can provide peace of mind in terms of whether or not the case will be public. They can also offer assistance with expunging should a person want to begin that process. There are many benefits to a DUI lawyer in Virginia, call one today.