Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Chapter 19.4. Issuance of Writ of Vacatur for Victims of Commercial Sex Trafficking
8/16/2022

§ 19.2-327.17. Contents and form of the petition for vacatur.

A. Any victim of sex trafficking may file a petition for vacatur setting forth the relevant facts and requesting that the judgment of a conviction or adjudication of delinquency be vacated. Such petition shall allege categorically and with specificity, under oath, all of the following:

1. The petitioner was convicted or adjudicated delinquent of a qualifying offense, including the date on which the qualifying offense occurred, the date of final disposition on which the conviction or adjudication of delinquency was entered, the petitioner's date of birth, and the full name used by the petitioner at the time of the offense;

2. The petitioner committed the qualifying offense as a direct result of being a victim of sex trafficking; and

3. Whether the petitioner has previously filed any other petition in accordance with this chapter in any circuit court and, if so, the disposition of such petition.

B. Such petition shall contain all relevant allegations of facts that are known to the petitioner at the time of filing. The petition shall be filed on a form provided by the Supreme Court. If the petitioner fails to submit a completed form, the circuit court may allow the petitioner to amend the petition to correct any deficiency. If the petitioner fails to submit a completed form containing the allegations set forth in subsection A, or if the circuit court has previously dismissed a petition for vacatur from the same petitioner for the same qualifying offense following a hearing conducted pursuant to § 19.2-327.18, the court may dismiss the petition. Any false statement in the petition, if such statement is knowingly or willfully made, shall be a ground for prosecution of perjury as provided for in § 18.2-434.

C. The petitioner shall obtain from a law-enforcement agency one complete set of the petitioner's fingerprints and shall file those fingerprints with the circuit court with the petition.

D. The Commonwealth shall be made party defendant to the proceeding. The petitioner shall provide a copy of the petition by delivery or by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the city or county in which the petition is filed. The attorney for the Commonwealth may file an objection or answer to the petition or may give written notice to the court that he does not object to the petition within 30 days after receipt of the petition. Upon the motion of the attorney for the Commonwealth and for good cause shown, the court may allow the attorney for the Commonwealth up to an additional 30 days to respond to the petition.

E. A person convicted or adjudicated delinquent of multiple qualifying offenses shall include all qualifying offenses in one petition, if such convictions or adjudications were all entered in the same city or county. A person convicted or adjudicated delinquent of qualifying offenses in different cities or counties shall file petitions in the circuit courts of the cities or counties in which the convictions or adjudications of delinquency were entered.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 543.

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.