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Can a felon have their record expunged in Virginia

Hampton, VA |

I pled guilty to Felony Embezzlement in 2000, paid my restitution completely, and served out my probation. In 2007 I had my rights restored and last year applied for a simple pardon, which was denied. I recieved a bachelors degree and have not had so much as a traffic ticket in 13 years. I have been told I need to have my record expunged but I am not sure if I qualify in Virginia, or what can be done to help alleviate the effect the conviction has on my job prospects and general community outlook.

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Attorney answers 4


Unfortunately, Virginia makes it pretty much impossible to have a felony record expunged. Even felonies committed as a minor cannot be expunged. About the only way to get rid of a felony record is to find evidence of your innocence or get a pardon from the governor.


Virginia has no provision to expunge any criminal conviction, no matter how minor. Your only option would be to seek a pardon of some sort from the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office. They have information available online.

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There is no provision to expunge a felony for which you were convicted in Virginia. The only way a person found guilty can have their matter expunged and record sealed is by obtaining from the governor a full pardon. A full pardon is only available in the rarest of circumstances (you basically have to have 1) been innocent, 2) pled not guilty, 3) been wrongly convicted, and 4) some abuse of the system usually must have occurred - i.e. police misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, jury misconduct, etc.). Since you pled guilty, you are not eligible for a full pardon.

The restoration of rights, which you have completed, is about as much as you can do in Virginia at this point, unless or until the law is changed.

The information provided herein is intended solely for educational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a local attorney for assistance with your matter.


You are not elgible for an expungement since you pled guilty. I would be prepared to explain the circumstances which led to you committing this offense. The fact that this happened over a decade ago and since then you have taken great strides should impress an employer.

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