Questionable Transgression: Answering Your Concerns About Criminal Charges and Defense
When you see the blue party lights in your rearview mirror, the "oh, no" feeling gradually turns to frustration and a sense of helplessness. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, we're here to help. Here are some frequently asked questions from our clients. Please remember, every case is different, so call us today for your free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
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Can I get my DUI charge expunged in Virginia?
In the state of Virginia, if you have been charged or convicted of a DUI, it becomes a matter of public record. Information about your arrest and conviction will stay around forever, and it will appear on routine background checks conducted by:
- University admissions departments
- Potential employers, especially for jobs working with children, elderly people, or disabled individuals
- Non-profit organizations seeking volunteers
- Landlords and other leasing agents
- Lenders, including banks and credit card companies
- Professional licensing organizations
Depending on the situation, having a DUI on your record in Virginia can be very damaging and limit your opportunities. It can even affect your ability to get a job and provide for your family.
Expungement Is an Option in Some DUI Cases
Expungement is the process of getting a criminal charge or conviction erased from your record. This means that police and court records related to the DUI will be permanently sealed and shielded from public access (including background checks). After expungement, the only way someone can gain access to the information is by Court Order.
If you are convicted of a DUI in some states, you can take steps to have your record expunged after a specific length of time has passed. In Virginia, however, your eligibility for expungement after a DUI charge is severely limited. If you pled guilty to a DUI charge or were convicted of DUI, you are not eligible to seek expungement in Virginia. You may only seek to expunge your record under the following circumstances:
- The DUI charges against you were dropped
- The DUI case against you was dismissed
- You were found not guilty of a DUI
The stakes are high after a DUI arrest in Virginia. Whether you are interested in pursuing expungement for a prior DUI arrest or you have recently been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, experienced criminal defense attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your unique situation. Are you ready to get started? Contact our office, or start a live chat with us now.
What is Guaranteed Representation™?
Defendants facing misdemeanor criminal charges in Virginia are tried in the District Court. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that they have an absolute right to appeal their case to the Circuit Court. This can be a very important right, yet some lawyers never mention anything about an appeal.
Guaranteed Representation™ means that the attorney’s fee for representation includes an appeal to the higher level trial court. When the attorney includes this appeal at no additional charge, it provides a very strong incentive to get the right result the first time. We do not want to return and try a case again without getting paid, but it’s worth it when it means the difference between a guilty finding and a reduction, or jail time versus freedom.
Lawyers who do not provide Guaranteed Representation™ can charge their client another fee (often a higher amount) to take the case up on appeal. In other words, if the client is unhappy and wants to appeal, the lawyer can earn more money. It isn’t hard to see which lawyer will be motivated to get the best possible result in trial.