As we begin a New Year, most Americans make a resolution to improve ourselves in areas such as health, finances, employment, or education. However, if you have a prior criminal record in West Virginia, that history may be holding you back in improving your employment and educational opportunities. The good news is that some criminal records in West Virginia can be permanently expunged. If qualified, an individual can petition the Court to have their arrest and court records sealed — a process known as an “expungement.”
The West Virginia Legislature has provided two ways for an individual to request an expungement. First, an expungement may be filed under West Virginia Code Section 61-11-25. To be eligible under that section, you must have been found not guilty of the offense or had the charges against you dismissed (but not in exchange for a guilty plea to another offense), and you may not have a prior felony conviction. A person of any age can be eligible for an expungement under this code section, and you can file 60 days after the date of the dismissal. Second, an expungement may be filed under West Virginia Code Section 61-11-26 for individuals who were between the ages of 18 through 26 at the time of the offense, and have a guilty conviction for certain types of misdemeanor offenses. The list of eligible misdemeanor offenses is fairly broad and covers many areas of criminal law. However, an individual cannot have another felony or misdemeanor conviction from a separate incident in West Virginia or any other jurisdiction in order to be eligible.
To determine whether you may be eligible for expungement in the New Year in West Virginia, please contact us here at Adams Legal Group, PLLC or 304.381.2166 for a free consultation. We have helped numerous individuals file and successfully receive an expungement in West Virginia, and we stand ready to help YOU!