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How can I get a Post-Conviction Relief for a shoplifting incident. 3 years passed

Roanoke, VA |

I got caught on a shoplifting incident on VA 3 years ago while I was on a J1 student visa, because of the tough law on VA, the situation ended up by spending 2 days on jail. (30 days, to suspend 26 and 4 days on jail)
Now after my graduation, I'm looking for a job, but I'm pretty sure that this incident is in my record. So, I was wondering what are the possibilities of getting Post-Conviction Relief so I can remove it from my criminal record.
Any advice would be appreciated

Attorney Answers 4


Post conviction relief is difficult to obtain in Virginia, but it sounds as if you'd like to seal the record of the conviction. Unless you can prove actual innocence, the Commonwealth's attorney will oppose the motion and the judge will likely agree absent proof that you're actually innocent.

The answer provided is for general information purposes and cannot be relied upon. In order to provide legal advice, one must engage with a live attorney; this answer does not create such attorney-client relationship.

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You mean that I will live my whole life with this conviction on my record ! Is there any options, I was looking for a post doctoral degree and this will end my life !

Peter Anthony Jabaly

Peter Anthony Jabaly


It may qualify as a petty offense for immigration purposes, but as I said, it will be difficult to seal the criminal record.


It will depend upon State's rules where the conviction took place and the reasons why you want the case vacated. Some states will not allow this to happen. Some prosecutors may agree, while others will make your attorney go to court for an answer. I suggest contacting both a competent immigration and criminal attorney to assist you. However, the arrest must still be reported, even if the conviction is vacated. Good luck.

This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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I hope you have a certified court disposition. If not get that first. This will need to be disclosed on your immigration applications in the future. Shoplifting is a crime involving moral turpitude. This means that 2 or more such cases render you inadmissible. One incident may qualify for a petty crime exception. I agree with Attorney Dixler. You need both an immigration as well as criminal defense attorney.

Dhenu Savla, Esq.
SwagatUSA, LLC

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice.

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I too agree with my learned friend, Mr. Dixler ... you need to meet with 2 lawyers.

PS if you mean 'expunge' when you state post-conviction relief .... forget it ... it can never be totally removed from your record for immigration purposes.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.

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