Virginia is famous for many things. One of which is our notoriously archaic expungement laws that leave far too many people with permanent criminal records. This is despite how much they improve their lives or contribute to their communities. Fortunately, during the General Assembly’s 2020 Special Session, our law makers decided to make a change and expand “deferred findings.”
Virginia Code Section 19.2-298.02 expands “deferred findings.”
Under the newly enacted Section 19.2-298.02, a Virginia trial court has the discretion to grant a deferred finding when the parties agree or in any case that the court deems appropriate. This is an expansion of a Virginia trial court’s authority to grant deferred findings. In fact, over the last decade, our appellate courts failed to clearly resolve the issue, leaving many criminal defense attorneys and their clients frustrated.
Section 19.2-298.02 expands expungeability.
What’s more, under Subsection (D), this new section explicitly permits deferred findings to be expunged under Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.2 as “otherwise dismissed.” To be clear, this is only allowed if: 1) all parties agree, and 2) the defendant waives his right to appeal.
This is a big deal.
This new statute gives trial courts a lot more power. And it will serve to help countless individuals going forward. What’s more, there were additional changes to Virginia’s expunge laws that we will discuss further.
If you’ve got questions about Virginia expungement law, make sure to reach out to us at Ph. 703-570-4180. You can also learn more about Owner James Abrenio here.