Expungment Possible When Case Reduced

A defendant charged with Possession of Marijuana entered a plea agreement with the prosecutor to plead guilty to Reckless Driving.  He paid a small fine.  Later, he sought to expunge the Possession of Marijuana charge but was denied by the Fairfax Circuit Court.

The Supreme Court of Virginia held that, when a charge is changed, the Court can expunge the original charge — even if doing so expunges both charges as a practical effect.

Before this decision, expungement proceedings were reserved only for the innocent.  This decision is a crack in that armor.

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