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Can I have a nolle prossed charge expunged if I have an additional conviction?

Richmond, VA |

Original charge that was nolle prossed was in 1995. The second misdemeanor charge was in 1996 which I plead guilty. This was a separate incident. No other charges or convictions since then. Will I be denied the expungement of the 1995 charge?

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Attorney answers 2


No one can tell you whether you will be successful or not in seeking an expungement. Certain records are eligible for expungement and other records are not. Records relating to an offense which was dismissed may qualify - as long as the dismissal wasn't pursuant to a first-offender scheme.

If the case was resolved in such a way that the records qualify - are able to be expunged at all - then you get to the question of whether in your particular case a Court will grant the request for expungement.

Simply stated, since you have a criminal record, you will have to persuade the court that there is a good reason to do so. As always, you should retain an experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer to assist you.

For important answers to other Frequently Asked Questions about DUI, Criminal and Traffic Offenses in Virginia, visit my website at:

T. Kevin Wilson, Esq.
The Wilson Law Firm
DUI, Criminal & Traffic Defense...When Results Matter
9300 Grant Avenue, Suite 301
Manassas, Virginia 20110

Telephone 888-DUI-LWYR
Telephone 703-361-6100
Facsimile 703-365-7988

The information contained in this message is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice, nor is it a substitute for professional legal services. The Wilson Law Firm disclaims the formation of an attorney-client relationship by use of AVVO, and no such relationship exists unless and until a written Fee Agreement has been endorsed by The Wilson Law Firm and the client. Furthermore, given the public nature of this forum, there can be no expectation of privacy, confidentiality, privilege, or any other protection from disclosure.


Dear Sir/Madam,

Nolle prosequi charges are eligible for expungement under Virginia law, but only the Court can decide whether to grant a Petition for Expungement. Whether you can expunge a criminal record in the Commonwealth of Virginia principally depends on how the Court resolved the case, i.e. the final disposition, but the Court reviews other factors, including any other Virginia criminal offenses. In addition to exploring expungement, you may want to obtain a copy of your record as it appears in the FBI's national CJIS database. You can then request it be updated to reflect the nolle prosequi. The FBI system is the database most commonly searched for background checks, including employment, graduate school and professional licensing. Should you not be successful in obtaining expungement, you may also want to consider a pardon.

Please see below more detailed information on each of these options:


I have written a Legal Guide on Virginia Expungement, which tells you how to access your record and I hope can answer your question in greater detail. Please click on the following link:


You will likely have a record with the FBI because of the fact that you were fingerprinted in conjunction with your arrest. Unfortunately, most state law enforcement agencies send only the arrest charges to the FBI and do not update the record to reflect the final disposition of the case. This often confuses employers who look at the record and mistakenly assume that an applicant was convicted of all charges from an arrest. It is therefore helpful to obtain a copy of your record, and then to request that the FBI update the information to show which charges are actual convictions and which were dismissed.


Finally, if you are ineligible for expungement, you may want to look into requesting a Pardon. This is a time-consuming process and does not expunge the record, but does help mitigate its effects. Please see the link below for more information on the Virginia Pardons. I am also in the process of drafting a Legal Guide on the subject, so please check back with soon.

Best of luck,
Lisa Manning

Lisa Manning, Esq.
1629 K Street, N.W.
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 905-2560
(202) 747-2880 fax

NOTE: This post provides general information on expungement. The information contained herein is not intended as legal advice, and you should therefore not act upon it before consulting with professional legal counsel. To obtain legal services from any law firm, including Record Absolutions, you must first establish an attorney-client relationship. This requires personal contact with us, and our determination that we are willing to take the engagement. Until all of these steps are complete, you have not hired an attorney and have not become a client of the firm. Thank you for your understanding.