Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Chapter 23.2. Sealing of Criminal History Record Information and Court Records
10/19/2021

§ 19.2-392.5. (For contingent effective date see Acts 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 524 and 542) Sealing defined; effect of sealing.

A. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning, "sealing" means to (i) restricting dissemination of criminal history record information contained in the Central Criminal Records Exchange, including any records relating to an arrest, charge, or conviction, in accordance with the purposes set forth in § 19.2-392.13 and pursuant to the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to § 9.1-128 and the procedures adopted pursuant to § 9.1-134 and (ii) prohibiting dissemination of court records related to an arrest, charge, or conviction, unless such dissemination is authorized by a court order for one or more of the purposes set forth in § 19.2-392.13. "Sealing" may be required either by the issuance of a court order following the filing of a petition or automatically by operation of law under the processes set forth in this chapter.

B. The provisions of this chapter shall only apply to adults who were arrested, charged, or convicted of a criminal offense and to juveniles who were tried in circuit court pursuant to § 16.1-269.1.

C. Records relating to an arrest, charge, or conviction that have been sealed may be disseminated only for purposes set forth in § 19.2-392.13 and pursuant to rules and regulations adopted pursuant to § 9.1-128 and procedures adopted pursuant to § 9.1-134. The court, except as provided in subsection B of § 19.2-392.14, and any law-enforcement agency shall reply to any inquiry that no record exists with respect to an arrest, charge, or conviction that has been sealed, unless such information is permitted to be disclosed pursuant to § 19.2-392.13 and pursuant to rules and regulations adopted pursuant to § 9.1-128 and procedures adopted pursuant to § 9.1-134. A clerk of any court and the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall be immune from any cause of action arising from the production of sealed court records, including electronic records, absent gross negligence or willful misconduct. This subsection shall not be construed to limit, withdraw, or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law or to affect any cause of action accruing prior to the effective date of this section.

D. Except as otherwise provided in this section, upon entry of an order for sealing, the person who was arrested, charged, or convicted of the offense that was ordered to be sealed may deny or not disclose to any state or local government agency or to any private employer in the Commonwealth that such an arrest, charge, or conviction occurred. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person as to whom an order for sealing has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of that person's denial or failure to disclose any information concerning an arrest, charge, or conviction that has been sealed.

E. A person who is the subject of the order of sealing entered pursuant to § 19.2-392.7, 19.2-392.8, 19.2-392.9, 19.2-392.11, or 19.2-392.12 may not deny or fail to disclose information to any employer or prospective employer about an offense that has been ordered to be sealed if:

1. The person is applying for full-time employment or part-time employment with, or to be a volunteer with, the State Police or a police department or sheriff's office that is a part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof;

2. This Code requires the employer to make such an inquiry;

3. Federal law requires the employer to make such an inquiry;

4. The position, or access to the premises in or upon which any part of the duties of such position is performed or is to be performed, is subject to any requirement imposed in the interest of the national security of the United States under any security program in effect pursuant to or administered under any contract with, or statute or regulation of, the United States or any Executive Order of the President; or

5. The rules and regulations adopted pursuant to § 9.1-128 and procedures adopted pursuant to § 9.1-134 allow the employer to access such sealed records.

Failure to disclose such sealed arrest, charge, or conviction, if such failure to disclose was knowing or willful, shall be a ground for prosecution of perjury as provided for in § 18.2-434.

F. An order to seal an arrest, charge, or conviction entered pursuant to § 19.2-392.7, 19.2-392.8, 19.2-392.9, 19.2-392.11, or 19.2-392.12 shall not relieve the person who was arrested, charged, or convicted of any obligation to pay all fines, costs, forfeitures, penalties, or restitution in relation to the offense that was ordered to be sealed.

G. Any arrest, charge, or conviction sealed pursuant to § 19.2-392.7, 19.2-392.8, 19.2-392.9, 19.2-392.11, or 19.2-392.12 may be admissible and considered in proceedings relating to the care and custody of a child. A person as to whom an order for sealing has been entered may be required to disclose a sealed arrest, charge, or conviction as part of such proceedings. Failure to disclose such sealed arrest, charge, or conviction, if such failure to disclose was knowing or willful, shall be a ground for prosecution of perjury as provided for in § 18.2-434.

H. Any arrest, charge, or conviction sealed pursuant to § 19.2-392.7, 19.2-392.8, 19.2-392.9, 19.2-392.11, or 19.2-392.12 shall not be (i) disclosed in any sentencing report; (ii) considered when ascertaining the punishment of a defendant; or (iii) considered in any hearing on the issue of bail, release, or detention of a defendant.

I. Any arrest, charge, or conviction sealed pursuant to § 19.2-392.7, 19.2-392.8, 19.2-392.9, 19.2-392.11, or 19.2-392.12 shall not constitute a barrier crime as defined in § 19.2-392.02, except as otherwise required under federal law.

J. A person shall be required to disclose any felony conviction sealed pursuant to § 19.2-392.12 for purposes of determining that person's eligibility to be empaneled as a member of a jury. Failure to disclose such conviction, if such failure to disclose was knowing or willful, shall be a ground for prosecution of perjury as provided for in § 18.2-434.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 524, 542.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.