Under Virginia law, an expungement petition generally will be considered if a person was charged with a criminal offense and he or she was either (i) acquitted or (ii) the case was dismissed or nolle prosequied. The proceeding takes place in Circuit Court, and the Commonwealth Attorney acts as a defendant in the case.
If the arrest was for a misdemeanor and the petitioner had no previous criminal record, then the expungement will almost always be granted. In other cases, the judge must find that police and court records of the arrest would constitute a manifest injustice to the petitioner. Only then will the court expunge the police and court records, including electronic records, relating to the charge(s).