Expungement Frequently Asked Questions
You probably have a lot of questions about an expungement. The information listed below is only intended to provide you with basic information about West Virginia Expungement laws. Every person’s situation is different, and the only way to know for sure if you qualify for an expungement is to call and talk with one of our attorneys.
What does an Expungement Actually Mean?
An expungement means that all records related to the criminal case – including the arrest records, police reports, index records, etc. – are considered, as a matter of law, never to have occurred. After a successful expungement, you do not have to disclose any criminal record on any application for employment, credit, or other type of application.
Like most laws, there are exceptions. That is why it is important to talk with an attorney experienced in handling expungements.
Can all Criminal Convictions be Expunged?
While many criminal convictions are subject to expungement, there are certain categories of criminal convictions that cannot be expunged. The best way to know for sure whether you qualify for an expungement is to contact The Moore Law Firm to discuss your personal situation.
Some of the main type of non-expungable convictions include:
- A felony offense of violence
- A felony in which the victim was a minor
- Certain sexual offenses
- Any offense in which a deadly weapon was used
- Domestic offenses
- Abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult
- Driving while license suspended or revoked
- Cruelty to animals
- Certain traffic offenses for holders of a commercial driver’s license
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit a felony of any of the above
How Long Do I Have to Wait?
There are time limitations before a person can have their criminal record expunged. If a charge was dismissed or dropped, the waiting period is 60 days. For a criminal conviction, the waiting period is:
- One year for a single misdemeanor
- Two years for multiple misdemeanors
- Five years for a felony
Does an Expunged Record Show up When I am Pulled Over for a Traffic Offense or Arrested?
If you are pulled over for a traffic violation or arrested, a police officer will generally request that your information be “run” through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) – the central database for crime-related information. After your criminal record is fully and completely expunged, any prior record will not appear in the NCIC search.
Can I get in Trouble for Saying that I Do Not Have a Criminal Record After an Expungement?
An expungement means that you cannot be charged with perjury or giving a false statement because of the failure to recite or acknowledge the criminal record. So, in short, the answer is no, you cannot be charged for saying that you do not have a criminal record because, after an expungement, you actually don’t.
There are exceptions to the above, particularly with regard to employment in the law enforcement field.
How much does an Expungement Cost?
At The Moore Law Firm, we charge a flat fee for an expungement. The fee is very competitive, particularly given our experience in handling many, many expungements over the years. The flat fee includes the $200 filing fee that is payable to the circuit clerk to file the petition and a $100 fee for processing the expungement after it is granted.
Do I need an Attorney to file a Petition for Expungement?
There are numerous legal and procedural requirements for an expungement to be granted. If it is not done right or according to the law, your petition may be denied and you may not get another chance to file another one. Something this important is worth doing right. We always recommend that you hire an experienced attorney to help you. Over the years, we have helped many people successfully expunge their criminal record and can help you with expunging your criminal record.