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How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in West Virginia

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A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in West Virginia, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record.  Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take.  1) Expunge Your Record2) Seal Your Record,3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what West Virginia offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.

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Expungement

If you get your record expunged in West Virginia it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.

Record Sealing

Sealing your record in West Virginia is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.

Pardons

If you receive a pardon in West Virginia, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.

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Things to Know Before You Start

First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in West Virginia.

Felony Expungement in West Virginia

No, it is not possible to expunge your felony in West Virginia.

Sealing a Recordin West Virginia

Yes, it is possible to seal your record in West Virginia but it depends on the felony.

Getting a Pardonin West Virginia

Yes, it is possible to get a pardon of your record in West Virginia but it depends on the felony.

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Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options.  The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.  

Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action.  We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process.  Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again.  In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think.  The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing of your record.

TAKE THE ELIGIBILITY TESTQuick NavigationCan You Expunge a Felony in West Virginia?How to Expunge a Felony in West VirginiaCan You Seal Your Criminal Record in West Virginia?How to Seal Your Criminal Record in West VirginiaCan You Apply for a Pardon in West Virginia?How to Apply for a Pardon in West Virginia

Can You Expunge a Felony in West Virginia?

Unfortunately, there is no law or statute that can allow you to have a felony expunged in West Virginia.

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Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in West Virginia?

You can only apply to have your record sealed in West Virginia if all charges against you were dismissed or you were found not guilty of the charges against you.  You cannot apply to have your record sealed if you were found guilty of a felony.

Note: Under a law in West Virginia, called the Second Chance Employment Act, certain felonies may be changed to a “reduced misdemeanor” through a civil court process known as Criminal Offense Reduction. Although this process does not expunge the felony, the intent of the law is to improve employment opportunities for people convicted of eligible offenses, who meet certain criteria. For more information, go here.

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CANNOT SEAL IF…

<p><strong>Out-of-state conviction</strong></p><p>You can only apply for a pardon for a conviction in West Virginia.</p>

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in West Virginia

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here.</li></ol>

Can You Apply for a Pardon in West Virginia?

You can apply for a pardon any time after you have been convicted. In fact, you can apply for a pardon even if you are still in prison for your conviction. There are no application fees to apply for a pardon in West Virginia.

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CANNOT PARDON IF…

<ol><li>If you have not completed the seven-year waiting period (can change according to the governor),</li><li>Is not a Mississippi State conviction,</li><li>You have not published a notice of your application and the reasons why you deserve a pardon in the newspaper for thirty days,</li><li>Multiple conviction may not result in pardons,</li><li>Sex offenders might be pardoned at the discretion of the governor.</li></ol>

How to Apply for a Pardon in West Virginia

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record.  In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. </li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. </li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>The Governor’s office has not made its pardon application materials available to access on the Internet. You will need to contact the Governor’s office directly and request that the application materials be mailed or possibly e-mailed to you.<p>You can contact the Governor’s office by calling 1-888-438-2731. <br /><br />You can also write to:</p><p>Governor Jim Justice</p><p>West Virginia State Capitol</p><p>Charleston, WV 25305</p></li></ol><p><strong>Steps to apply for a pardon in West Virginia</strong></p><p>Step 1. Fill out the application form</p><ul><li>You will be asked basic information such as your name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and current address, among other things.</li></ul><p>Step 2. You will be asked to list information about your offenses</p><ul><li>If you do not have sufficient information about a particular offense, you should contact the law enforcing agency involved in the case and/or the court where you were convicted.</li><li>If you do not remember all of the offenses you have, you may need to obtain your criminal history report.</li></ul><p>Step 3. You will also be asked why you should be considered for a pardon.</p><ul><li>This may be the most important part of your application.</li><li>You should submit, on a separate sheet of paper, a detailed and genuine personal statement explaining why you need a pardon.<ul><li>In your personal statement, do not simply say you want a clean criminal record again.</li><li>For example, tell the Board of Parole/Governor how your conviction has negatively affected you and/or your family.</li></ul></li><li>In writing your personal statement, keep in mind that the Board/Governor is not retrying you for the offense.<ul><li>Although you might feel the need to explain the facts of the crime from your perspective, avoid trying to make excessive excuses for your crime and arguing away your guilt.</li><li>However you feel about the crime, you have already been found guilty.</li><li>The Board/Governor is probably more interested in seeing your remorse for the crime, and your understanding of its effects on the victim and society, than anything else.</li></ul></li></ul><p>Step 4. Although not required, we suggest that you submit a few letters of recommendation from credible people (such as your boss) who know you well and can say good things about you.</p><ul><li>These letters should indicate to what extent the writer knows you and why he or she thinks you should be granted a pardon.</li><li>The letters should also indicate the writer’s contact information for verification purposes.</li></ul><p>Step 5. You will be asked to sign a waiver/release form, which gives the Governor’s office permission to obtain confidential/private information about you, including your medical records and criminal history.</p><ul><li>If you are currently in prison, the application may need to be signed in front of a staff member of the prison facility.</li></ul><p>Step 6. There may or may not be a hearing in your case.</p><ul><li>If a hearing is held, you should not only attend but also look and act your best.</li><li>Have friends, family members, a neighbor, your boss, coworkers, and others attend the hearing to show their support.<ul><li>The hearing would be an excellent opportunity for you to put a human face onto your application; it lets the Board/Governor not only see you in person but also the support you have in your community.</li></ul></li><li>At least ten days before the Board makes it recommendation to the Governor, the Board must notify the sentencing judge and prosecuting attorney who were involved in the case.<ul><li>These individuals will then have an opportunity to submit their opinions/recommendations on your application.</li><li>The victim may also be notified of your application and be given an opportunity to comment.</li><li>If a hearing is held, these individuals may attend the hearing to oppose your application.</li></ul></li></ul>

So, there you have it.  Two separate ways to get rid of your record in West Virginia.  As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you take this eligibility test prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.

Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational.  If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.

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