Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

First time Offender

I was charged with felony possesion w/ intent of marijuana in 1995. I plead guilty for the ''first-time offender status'' yet if you goto www.courts.state.va.us it shows me as guilty of felony. I contacted the clerk and was told it was misdeamenor.

A. How can I go about correcting this on the website (clerk told me since it was inactive it cannot be edited.)?

B. I though that after i completed my probation and paid fines on time the charges would be dismissed under first -time status except for the courts knowledge in case of other charges later. They are saying it was a guilty conviction.

C. How long does a misdeamenor conviction stay on your record and how can it be removed?

Thank You.

Asked on 1/05/03, 8:37 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: First time Offender

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, convictions for felonies or misdemeanors are never expunged unless very unusual circumstances apply, which in effect mean that you did not commit the crime of which you were wrongfully convicted and have received or are elgible to receive a pardon from the governor.

If you actually received a so-called SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) for a misdemeanor as a first time offender, and successfully completed your probation, then the record of the matter would be closed and it

would not be carried as a conviction since in these kinds of cases, the judge accepts your guilty plea, but defers sentencing, and there never is a conviction if the defendant successfully completes the required probation.

Read more
1/06/03, 7:53 pm

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