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How do I have my record expunged that's over 30 years old in Va?

Alexandria, VA |

I was found not guilty of breaking and entering and given a cash settlement and the lawyer told me my record would be expunged (he would take care of it and was paid) but now I am told it was not taken care of

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Attorney answers 4


It's terrible what the attorney did. On a bright note, it sounds as if you're eligible for an expungement. Speak to an attorney today. My office handles that sort of stuff.

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.


This type of thing should never happen. I am not a big fan of advising one to contact the State Bar for every little dispute, but in this case if you paid an attorney and he did nothing in return for the fee, you may try to see if the State Bar will look into it for you. His conduct sounds like it may be at a minimum, unethical, and at a maximum, criminal. Go to and look for the section regarding filing a complaint against an attortney or call the Bar. However, before you do that, you may try contacting him again to inquire about it. Maybe he simply got busy and didn't get to it yet, or he forgot about it. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt. Lawyers are usually very busy. But, if you don't get anywhere taking that approach, contact the Va State Bar.


I am sorry that happened to you. Any chance you have documentation of the prior legal services agreement with that attorney? For example, do you have a written agreement outlining the scope of what he was to do? Do you have proof of payment? I ask only because it is already hard to pursue the attorney after 30 years have passed - if you don't have the documentation, that might not even be worth considering.

But as for expungement, on the facts as you relayed them, you are a prime candidate for a petition for expungement. This is something you can do on your own, although I would recommend hiring an attorney because it will likely be a smoother and quicker process. There is not too much to doing an expungement if you were found not guilty (and assuming no other record), but it is a process and can take time. Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, and is not intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Any response is intended solely to give you limited, general information on the issue presented. Michael Carmody of Biberaj & Snow, PC is licensed to practice law in Virginai, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Tennessee. His office is located in Leesburg, Virginia


Talk to a criminal attorney about the expungement process. You have to file a petition in Circuit Court where the charge was brought. The process is fairly simple (provided a hearing is not demanded by the Commonwealth Attorney) and shouldn't cost too much. Good luck.

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James Garrett
Garrett Law Group, PLC
(757) 422-4646 - 24 hour Service

Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and any attorney associated with Garrett Law Group, PLC. Responses should be considered and used for informational purposes only. Every case is unique in its facts, and all legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney prior to making any decisions or taking any actions.

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