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Which Court Do I Need?
Clerk of Circuit Court
The Circuit Court Clerk's Civil Office handles filing of expungements.
An expungement is an action to delete all police and court records pertaining to a criminal case when any of the following has occurred: acquittal, nolle prosequi, dismissal (including dismissals pursuant to Virginia Code §
), absolute pardon or an individual’s name used in error and wrong person arrested (Virginia Code §
(H)) or identification used without consent (Virginia Code §
(B)). An expungement is not available for those criminal cases that resulted in deferred dismissal following a finding of evidence sufficient to convict the defendant. When a record is expunged, the record is NOT destroyed but removed from public access and sealed.
Before proceeding, see Virginia Code §
Prepare a petition
, which includes your personal information, the charge or charges to be expunged and all other information pertaining to those charges. Be sure to include each charge to be expunged and coinciding dates.
Certified copies of warrants/indictments showing the disposition of the case must be attached to the petition. (Note: Look at the case number that you are trying to expunge. It is a Circuit Court case if the case number begins with the letters CR. It is a General District Court case if the case number begins with GC, GT or sometimes it is just C or T.)
The filing fee is $ $86.00, and the service fee is $12.00 for a total of $98.00. This fee may be paid by check, cash or money order. Checks or money orders should be payable to "Clerk of Circuit Court." The service fee is required, because the Sheriff must serve a copy of the petition and warrants on the Commonwealth's Attorney.
Upon filing of the petition, the petitioner will be given a date/time stamped copy of the petition. You will need to take this to the
or Sheriff's Department. That Office will take your fingerprints and forward the fingerprint card with the petition to the Virginia State Police for a criminal history background check. Please note that your case will not proceed unless this is done.
In approximately four weeks, The Virginia State Police will forward to the Clerk’s Office, the Central Criminal Records Exchange report which includes the criminal background history and the set of fingerprints. You may check
Circuit Court Case Information
online to see if the Clerk’s Office has received the Central Criminal Records Exchange. If it has been filed in your case, the case information will show the date of filing and “State Police Report” as a description.
Once the State Police forwards this report to the Court, you will need to submit a Notice of Hearing to set your case on a 9 a.m. Motions Day Docket. Your motion must be filed with the court by close of business on the Friday 2 weeks preceding the hearing date that you pick. You will be responsible for sending a copy of the Notice of Hearing to the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
On the date of the hearing, bring your
Order of Expungement
to court with you or make sure that your proposed order has already been filed in your case prior to your hearing. During the hearing, you and the Commonwealth's Attorney will need to endorse the order prior to presenting it to the Judge for entry. Upon entry, you will be given one certified copy. The Clerk's Office will send a copy to the Virginia State Police. If your expungement is granted, they will notify all agencies to expunge your record. Please note that this process may take 3 - 6 months. A case does not get officially expunged from the Case Management System until the State Police has given the Court written approval to expunge it.
This page has been developed to assist you in obtaining an expungement of a criminal record. It is not intended to be a replacement for competent legal advice. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney to represent your interests. The Clerk or Deputy Clerk cannot advise or represent you.
Expungement of Police and Court Records
$98 cash or check payable to "Clerk of Circuit Court"
$86 filing fee + $12 service fee
50 cents per page
$2 per document
Please notify the Circuit Court Clerk's Office by
if you find that any of the links on this page do not work.
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Prince William County Government