Expungement in West Virginia
The process of sealing criminal records is known as expungement. This prevents the general public from viewing individuals’ criminal histories. After serving their sentences and fines, individuals can resume their normal lives through the expungement process. West Virginia has specific requirements for those who are eligible for expungement. Criminal records can be expunged for those who were not convicted of an offense, those with certain criminal convictions set by the state of West Virginia, records for first-time convictions in certain drug-related crimes, most juvenile records, and pardoning by a judge or the governor.
Expungements are granted by court order and are available through petition. If a person is eligible for expungement, he or she must petition the appropriate court in charge of the case. West Virginia also requests that the prosecuting parties, including the prosecuting attorney, be notified. Expungement is granted at the discretion of the court, which has complete authority to deny a request for legal reasoning. If a petition is filed incorrectly or granting the petition is not found to be in the court’s favor, the expungement will be denied.
West Virginia (WV) Expungement of Misdemeanors
West Virginia restricts expungement for misdemeanor offenses. Only certain drug-related first-time offenses and juvenile misdemeanor convictions may be eligible. Because some crimes are so serious, West Virginia does not consider them to be expunged from an individual’s record. This is comparable to multiple charges.
Felony Expungement in West Virginia
In West Virginia, no violent crime can be expunged. Murder in various degrees, manslaughter, arson, capital offenses, and rape are examples. According to the law, certain juvenile felony records and certain first offenses of drug-related convictions may be eligible for record sealing.
Driving While Intoxicated Expungement Restrictions have been imposed for convictions for driving under the influence. Expungement for DUI offenses is possible, but only in limited circumstances. Because DUI convictions are difficult to clear, it is best to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Eligibility for Expungement
West Virginia law has established three fundamental rules for expungement. The first is that no violent crimes can ever be expunged. Second, only certain first-time drug offenses are eligible for petitioning. Third, juvenile offenses are most often eligible, but it is dependent on the imposed sentence and the completion of the sentence. Expungement forms can be obtained from a criminal defense attorney or from the court where the conviction was entered.
Arrest records in West Virginia are also eligible for expungement if the arrest did not result in additional charges or convictions. A criminal record can be expunged if an individual can show that the court erred in convicting them. Criminal charges can be dropped and expungement may be possible if sufficient evidence is presented. Because most West Virginia expungement cases are difficult, it is often advised to consult an attorney, who will have experience and will be able to help determine eligibility for record sealing.