What is expungement?
Expungement is the sealing of records that belong to court, investigating agency, and other agencies. If an expungement is granted, it is as if the proceedings never occurred. It makes the records inaccessible to general public or people without a legitimate purpose, removing them to a secure area.
Why is expungement important?
Expungement can reduce or remove barriers for employment, housing, education, as well as student loans.
Misdemeanor Violations and Traffic Citations:
West Virginia Code §61-11-26 provides for expungement of misdemeanor convictions ONE year after completion of any sentence of incarceration and any period of supervision. A person is eligible to expunge multiple misdemeanor convictions TWO years after the last conviction and completion of incarceration or supervision.
WV Code §61-11-26(a) provides for accelerated expungements for individuals that complete substance abuse treatment or recovery or graduates from an approved job readiness adult training court. Here, a one year waiting period is not required single misdemeanor offenses, and is reduced to one year for multiple misdemeanor offenses.
Petitioner cannot have pending criminal charges when filing for an expungement
Misdemeanor offenses excluded from expungement include but are not limited to:
- Offenses involving use of deadly weapon
- Offenses involving the intentional infliction of physical injury to a minor or LEO
- Domestic Violence (Assault or Battery)
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance or refusing a blood alcohol content test
- Driving on a suspended license
Effective date: July 1, 2019
You can find the approved forms for expungement of misdemeanor violations and traffic citations here: http://www.courtswv.gov/lower-courts/expungement/SCA-C906.pdf
WV Code §61-11-26 provides that only non-violent felonies can be expunged. Expungement of these felony convictions are allowed after FIVE years after the completion of sentence of incarceration or supervision. A person is eligible to expunge multiple felony convictions IF the violations arose from the same transaction or series of transactions.
WV Code §61-11-26(a) provides for accelerated expungements for individuals that complete substance abuse treatment or recovery or graduates from an approved job readiness adult training court. Here, for a single felony conviction the five year waiting period is reduced to THREE years.
What is a non-violent felony?
This type of offense does not involve;
- the intentional infliction of serious bodily injury
- violence potential violence to another person or the public,
- facts and circumstances of the offense are consistence with the purpose of the expungement statute
- OR it is not otherwise excluded
Examples of Felony offenses excluded from expungement include but are not limited to:
- Offenses “against the person” (including murder, use of explosives and destructive devices, sexual offenses, and child abuse)
- Offenses where victim is a miner
- Malicious assault or battery
- Cruelty to animals
- Any convictions with a written finding that offense was sexually motivated
- Any attempt to commit an excluded felony
- Conspiracy to commit one of these offenses
You can find the approved forms for expungement of felony convictions here: http://www.courtswv.gov/lower-courts/expungement/SCA-C907.pdf