Expungement is a process by which a record, or a portion thereof, is officially erased or removed after the defendant is not convicted. Criminal record expungement requests are heard by circuit courts, and, under certain conditions, by the general district courts.  Learn more: Virginia Code § 19.2-392.2 – Expungement of police and court records.

Petition Process

Petitioner completes the appropriate petition. Sample forms can be found on the Virginia’s Judicial System website or above. Forms may also be available at the Walter T. McCarthy Law Library in the Arlington County Court House. Original petition may be signed by a deputy clerk, or notarized. Indicate notary registration number and place of notarization.

Step 1.Petitioner must obtain four copies of the Warrant of Arrest

Step 2.Petitioner makes four copies of the Petition or Motion for Expungement

  • One copy to be served on the Commonwealth’s Attorney
  • One copy to provide law enforcement agency with the request for fingerprints
  • Two copies for the petitioner

Step 3.Petitioner obtains from a law enforcement agency:

  • One complete set of fingerprints. Petitioner must provide a copy of the Petition for Expungement and warrant of arrest to the law enforcement agency
  • The Arlington County Sheriff’s office currently processes fingerprint requests Thursdays from 12:30 to 4pm. The Sheriff’s office is located at 1425 N. Courthouse Road, 9th Floor, Arlington VA. Petitioner must present a valid driver’s license/ID, or U.S. passport. The processing fee is $15.00, and must be paid in cash.

Step 4.Law enforcement agency forwards to the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE):

  • The fingerprint card
  • A copy of the Petition for Expungement

Step 5.CCRE conducts a search of the records of the petitioner’s criminal history and return the results to the Court along with the fingerprint card

Step 6.Hearings on expungements are scheduled eight weeks out from the date of filing on the Civil Motions docket (Fridays at 10 a.m.)


The fee for an expungement is $103.00 ($86.00 for filing the Petition, $5.00 paper submission fee and $12.00 for service by the Sheriff on the Commonwealth’s Attorney).  Payment may be made by cash, check or money order made payable to the “Clerk of the Circuit Court”; or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover).