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My 16 year old son was charged with shoplifting in VA. 1st offense but considered a felony charge since over $200. Dismissble?

Richmond, VA |

The items he actually took amounted to $40 but his cohort had about $160 in merchandise so they were both charged with felonies. Police came but no arrest. We are getting an attorney but are hoping for dismissal, expungement or something along those lines. Possible?

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Attorney answers 3


Possible without an attorney? probably not.
Possible with an attorney? maybe.


Virginia has no 'expungement'. Your only hope short of reduction to a misdemeanor is dismissal or 'not guilty' finding--that will require attorney--GET ONE ASAP--a criminal defense attorney. Best of luck to you and your son.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III


BTW--don't go online again with details like 'he actually took' although its hearsay, you are online, in a open forum, admitting that your son stole property and was arrested---that is 'ungood'. Commonwealth's attorneys can read too......


You should consult a criminal defense attorney that handles cases in the city or county where your son is charged. Juvenile court affords many more options to dispose of cases then adult courts have. When a juvenile commits an offense and they have never been in trouble before they often are diverted to juvenile intake. This keeps the charge out of court. They are asked to admit to the charge and are given community service, etc. If they comply and stay out of trouble the charge never comes to court. If your son was not diverted to juvenile intake then a petition from the court should be coming. You will need to get an attorney to defend your son. If he receives a petition he will need to go to court as will at least one parent. It looks like you are down in Richmond so I would seek out an attorney who is familiary with the court where your son is charged.


Technically it is possible to have almost any case dismissed at trial. It is good that you are getting an attorney. Felony convictions will stay on his record for life. The only way to have criminal charges expunged in Virginia is to first have them dropped or dismissed. However, if it gets reduced to a misdemeanor the records will be destroyed after 5 years. (See Virginia code 16.1-306)

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