West Virginia Criminal Record Expungement
The West Virginia Criminal Record Expungement Lawyers at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC have years of experience helping clients clear and clean up criminal arrest records that may appear on a background check. Call us today at (304) 212-5791 to schedule a free initial consultation.
What is a criminal record expungement?
A criminal record expungement is the process of petitioning a court to clear, remove, or “seal” an arrest or dismissal from your criminal record. If you meet statutory standard, the State of West Virginia permits dismissed charges and certain convictions to be removed from your record so that they are not available to be viewed by the public.
Do I need a criminal record expungement?
Generally, people seek a criminal record expungement to clean up their criminal history for employment, education, or housing purposes. It is not uncommon for potential employers or education institutions to complete a criminal history background check prior to hiring or accepting otherwise qualified applicants into a program.
Am I eligible for a criminal record expungement?
The West Virginia criminal record expungement statutes allow for two types of expungements:
- Dismissed/Acquitted Criminal Charges (acquitted/found not guilty at a trial or charges that were otherwise dismissed)
- Criminal Convictions (found guilty after a trial or plead guilty/no contest as part of a plea agreement).
Dismissed/Acquitted Criminal Charges
You may be eligible for expungement of dismissed/acquitted criminal charges where:
- You were acquitted (found not guilty) and trial OR the charges were dismissed, but not as part of a plea agreement to another offense in; and
- You do not have any previous felony conviction(s); and
- You do not have any charges currently pending against you.
You may be eligible for expungement of your conviction if it involves the following:
- a misdemeanor,
- multiple misdemeanors,
- a nonviolent felony, or
- a series of connected nonviolent felonies.
Are all West Virginia criminal convictions eligible to be expunged?
Only certain West Virginia convictions are eligible for expungement. However, Federal convictions are not eligible to be expunged.
Felony Conviction Expungements
Only non-violent felony convictions are eligible for expungement and must meet the following:
- Does not involve the intentional infliction of serious bodily injury;
- Does not involve violence or potential violence to the public at large or another individual;
- Must be found by the Circuit Court to be consistent with the purposes of the expungement statute; and
- Is not otherwise excluded under any subsection of the statute.
There are a number of felony and misdemeanor offenses that are specifically excluded from expungement:
- Any offenses involving use of deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- Misdemeanors involving the intentional infliction of physical injury to a minor or law enforcement officer
- Felonies “against a person” (including murder, use of explosives and destructive devices, sexual offenses, and child abuse)
- Felonies where the victim was a minor (includes felony violations soliciting a minor via a computer, morality offenses, distributing obscene matter to minors, using minors to film sexually explicit conduct, and child abuse)
- Sexual offenses (including sexual assault and abuse)
- Domestic violence, domestic assault, domestic battery
- Stalking and Harassment under W.V. Code 61-2-9a
- Abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult
- Driving under the influence (“DUI”) of alcohol or a controlled substance or refusing a blood alcohol content (BAC) test
- Driving on a suspended license (“SRO”)
- Cruelty to animals
- Malicious assault or battery (felony)
- Misdemeanor assault or battery if the victim was a spouse, has a child in common with the person seeking expungement or if the victim ever cohabitated with the person seeking expungement prior to the offense
- Any conviction with a finding by the Court that the offense was sexually motivated
- Any motor vehicle offense where the person holds a commercial driver’s license (“CDL”)
- Attempt to commit a felony that is excluded from expungement
- Conspiracy to commit an offense that is excluded from expungement
How long do I have to wait to file for a criminal record expungement?
There is a waiting period for both Acquitted/Dismissed Criminal Charges and Criminal Conviction expungements.
Acquitted/Dismissed Criminal Charges
You are eligible to file for expungement after 60 days following the dismissal or acquittal.
Eligibility of Criminal Convictions is based upon when you finished serving a jail or prison sentence, and any term of probation or parole, whichever is later in time.
- Single misdemeanor– 1 year after conviction, completion of any sentence of incarceration, or completion of period of supervision (whichever is later in time).
- Multiple misdemeanors– 2 years after conviction, completion of any sentence of incarceration, or completion of period of supervision (whichever is later in time).
- Non-violent felony (not on the “excluded” offense list)- 5 years after conviction, completion of any sentence of incarceration, or completion of period of supervision (whichever is later in time).
Can I expunge multiple convictions?
Yes, in some instances multiple convictions are eligible to expunged at once. However, if your convictions are in different jurisdictions/counties, your expungement petitions will need to be filed in the Circuit Court of each jurisdiction/county.
Multiple felony offenses may be eligible for expungement if they occurred as part of “the same event or series of events.” Filing to expunge multiple felonies can be complex, so you may want to try to talk to a lawyer
Do I need a lawyer?
West Virginia Criminal Record Expungements can be a difficult and confusing, especially when you are not experienced in filing the proper paperwork and gathering the appropriate information. It is best to have an experienced attorney help you prepare and file a Petition on your behalf.
West Virginia’s Criminal Arrest Record Lawyers
The West Virginia Criminal Record Expungement Lawyers at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC are here to help. For more information or for a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact ustoday.