Expungement Attorneys in West Virginia
Expungement in West Virginia
West Virginia does not distinguish between having your record sealed or expunged. With expungement your criminal records are deleted from public access in West Virginia. In most cases you can legally deny any arrest or conviction history.
For juveniles in West Virginia, your records are automatically sealed one (1) year after your eighteenth (18th) birthday, or one year after the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has expired. Your records may not be sealed if they were handled under the adult criminal jurisdiction of the circuit court.
If you are an adult and over the age of 26 you may apply for expungement if you were not charge or if you were acquitted of the charges, but only for minor offenses. You cannot expunge an driving while intoxicated offense. In addition, you are not eligible for expungement if you have existing felony convictions, have pled to another offense in return for dismissing the charge, or if you were found not guilty by reason of mental illness, handicap, or addiction. You are also ineligible if your offenses include domestic violence charges, assaults resulting in serious bodily injury, sex offenses against minors 12 years of age or younger, driving without a license, or certain animal cruelty charges.
Misdemeanor convictions are eligible if they were committed while you were between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26), have no prior convictions, and have no pending charges. There is a waiting period of one (1) year from the time you completed your sentence, including probation. If you were a first-time drug offender and your plea was deferred or your case was dismissed after completion of a drug program you may apply after six (6) months from the completion of the program or your probation. You cannot have any serious or repeated probation violations in any case.
If you do not meet any of the above criteria, the only other way to have your criminal conviction expunged in West Virginia, other than for murder, is to have been granted an executive pardon.