A misdemeanor will stay on a person's record until it is expunged. Expungement of the record of an arrest and the court proceedings for a criminal charge is a civil law remedy available for individuals who can claim to be innocent of a charge brought against them. This remedy, for adults, is authorized in Virginia Code § 19.2-392.2. The Legislature has provided for expungement of official records in order to help innocent individuals more easily obtain employment, education or credit. The legislation defines who is eligible to seek expungement, but leaves discretion for judges to determine from those who meet the statute's eligibility requirements who should be granted this relief.
A person seeking expungement of their records in VA has to be eligible to apply. Here are the following ways one could meet that requirement:
1) A defendant in a criminal case who appears and enters a "not guilty" plea, and then is tried by a judge or jury and is acquitted of all charges.
2) A party in a civil action who is arrested or is charged with contempt of court, but who is not found guilty of this charge.
3) A defendant in a criminal case that the Commonwealth Attorney's office decides not to prosecute, by filing a motion to nolle prosequi the charge(s). • A defendant who is charged with assault and battery or a misdemeanor for which there is a remedy by civil action when the injured party acknowledges to the court that there has been satisfaction for the injury, and the court grants an order discharging the case pursuant to Virginia Code § 19.2-151.
4) An individual's name or identification have been used without consent or authorization by a defendant in a criminal case or cases.
5) A defendant who has been convicted of a crime is subsequently granted an Absolute Pardon based upon determination of an unjust conviction.
Please let me know if you think you qualify and I will let you know your next steps.