West Virginia Expungement Laws

This guide provides a detailed overview of the expungement process in West Virginia, including eligibility criteria, necessary steps, and links to official resources.

Navigating the path to expunging a criminal record in West Virginia can be complex. However, with the right information and resources, it's possible to clear your record and move forward.

Understanding Expungement

Expungement refers to the legal process of erasing or sealing a criminal record from public view. In West Virginia, expungement laws allow individuals to petition for the removal of certain criminal records, offering a fresh start to those who qualify.

Eligibility for Expungement

Not all criminal records can be expunged. The eligibility for expungement in West Virginia depends on several factors, including the type of offense, the completion of the sentence, and the waiting period.

  • West Virginia Code §61-11-26: Outlines the specific conditions under which a person may petition for expungement. Read More
  • West Virginia Code §61-11-25: Provides additional details on offenses and circumstances eligible for expungement. Read More

Steps to Apply for Expungement

  1. Determine Eligibility: Review the West Virginia Code and consult with legal counsel to understand if your record qualifies for expungement.
  2. Obtain Necessary Documentation: Gather all relevant documents, including your criminal record, court documents, and proof of sentence completion.
  3. File a Petition: Submit a petition for expungement to the court where the conviction occurred. Detailed instructions and forms can be found in the official expungement instructions provided by the West Virginia Judiciary. PDF Instructions
  • Legal Aid WV: Offers comprehensive information on expungement of criminal records, including eligibility, process, and FAQs. Legal Aid WV Guide
  • West Virginia Judiciary: Provides official expungement instructions and necessary forms. Expungement Instructions PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long do you have to wait to get your record expunged in WV?
    The waiting period varies based on the offense. Consult the West Virginia Code or legal counsel for specifics.

  • What felonies cannot be expunged in West Virginia?
    Certain felonies, especially those involving violence or sexual offenses, may not be eligible for expungement. Refer to §61-11-25 and §61-11-26 for detailed information.

  • What is the second chance law in West Virginia?
    The Second Chance Law refers to legislation that expands eligibility for expungement to individuals with certain criminal records, under specific conditions.

  • Will my expunged record show up on a background check in Virginia?
    Typically, an expunged record will not appear on most background checks. However, certain government agencies may still have access to these records for specific purposes.


Expunging a criminal record in West Virginia is a process that can offer individuals a second chance at a clean slate. By understanding the eligibility criteria, following the required steps, and utilizing available resources, those seeking expungement can navigate the process more effectively. For personalized advice, consider consulting with a legal professional experienced in West Virginia's expungement laws.

Remember, the path to expungement begins with informed action. Utilize the links and resources provided in this guide as your roadmap to clearing your record and embracing a new beginning.

About the author
Von Wooding

Von Wooding

Counsel Stack develops grounded language models equipped with research, retrieval, and drafting tools. We offer legal leads, pre-built intelligent applications, and white label solutions.

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