A. Upon granting a writ of vacatur pursuant to subsection C of § 19.2-327.18, the circuit court shall provide the petitioner with a copy of the writ, and such copy shall be sufficient proof that the person named in the writ is no longer under any disability, disqualification, or other adverse consequence resulting from the vacated conviction or adjudication of delinquency.

Terms Used In Virginia Code 19.2-327.19

  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Court: means any court vested with appropriate jurisdiction under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth. See Virginia Code 19.2-5
  • Person: includes any individual, corporation, partnership, association, cooperative, limited liability company, trust, joint venture, government, political subdivision, or any other legal or commercial entity and any successor, representative, agent, agency, or instrumentality thereof. See Virginia Code 1-230
  • Qualifying offense: means a conviction or adjudication of delinquency for any violation of § 18. See Virginia Code 19.2-327.15
  • State: when applied to a part of the United States, includes any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands. See Virginia Code 1-245
  • Supreme Court: means the Supreme Court of Virginia. See Virginia Code 1-249
  • Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.

B. If a writ of vacatur is granted, and no appeal is made to the Supreme Court, or the Supreme Court refuses or denies the Commonwealth’s petition for appeal or upholds the decision of the circuit court, an order of expungement for the qualifying offense shall be entered by the circuit court. Upon entry of the order of expungement, the clerk of court shall cause a copy of the writ of vacatur, the order of expungement, and the complete set of petitioner’s fingerprints to be forwarded to the Department of State Police, which shall expunge the qualifying offense.

C. The writ to vacate the qualifying offense shall not be expunged pursuant to subsection B and shall be maintained by the circuit court. Access to the writ may be provided only upon court order. Any person seeking access to the writ may file a written motion setting forth why such access is needed. The court shall issue an order to disclose the writ upon the written motion of the petitioner named in the writ. The court may issue an order to disclose the writ if it finds that such disclosure best serves the interests of justice.

D. Costs shall be as provided in § 17.1-275 but shall not be recoverable against the Commonwealth. A petitioner shall not be required to pay any fees or costs for filing a petition pursuant to this chapter if the petitioner is found to be unable to pay fees or costs pursuant to § 17.1-606. If the circuit court enters a writ of vacatur, the clerk of the court shall refund to the petitioner such costs paid by the petitioner.

E. If the court enters a writ of vacatur, the petitioner shall be entitled to a refund of all fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties paid in relation to the qualifying offense that was vacated. If the clerk of the court where the conviction was entered is in possession of any records detailing any fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties paid by the petitioner for a qualifying offense that was vacated, the petitioner shall be entitled to a refund of such amount. If the clerk of the court where the conviction was entered is no longer in possession of any records detailing any fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties paid by the petitioner for a qualifying offense that was vacated, a refund shall be provided only upon a showing by the petitioner of the amount of fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties paid.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 543; 2022, c. 408.