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New bill seeks to clear path to clearing your record in Virginia

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Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 6:43 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A new bill would make the road to clearing a criminal record easier in Virginia.

As it stands, Virginians seeking to seal their records have to go through a petition-based process. The bill, H.B. 2113, would allow automatic sealing for charges that were dropped or dismissed, as well as some misdemeanor charges more than 7 years old.

It would also extend petition-based sealing of records to crimes like marijuana possession.

“These criminal records disproportionately impact people of color. They disproportionately impact people who don’t have means and those are the people who need to find jobs, who need to find housing, the most in our society,” Legal Aid Justice Center Attorney Rob Poggenklass explained. “So, this is really about giving them an opportunity to go out and do these things on their own.”

A compromise version of the bill has been reached between the House of Delegates and the State Senate. That is expected to be voted on this week.

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