Interviewer: If someone had a theft charge on their record would they be able to get that expunged? I mean take it out or sealed or removed?
Brian Geno: Virginia doesn’t allow for any case to be expunged unless they won the case. Before they have, the government, has decided not to prosecute. In Virginia they call that a nolle prosequi or nolle proseque. Those are the only instances where you can have a case expunged. Some states, I understand, will allow convictions to be expunged. Having said that, in the juvenile context, some misdemeanors can be expunged. It is because it’s a juvenile case and when the person turns to an adult, after a certain period of time after they’ve become an adult the cases can be, convictions that they have had, they are certainly sealed and can expunged. Those are the only examples. When the person is having trouble getting a job because they were convicted of petty larceny and they ask me to get it expunged I have to give them the sad news that it can’t be done.
Common Scenarios Resulting in Theft Charges in Virginia
Interviewer: Is there ever a common scenario or story that you frequently hear about when it comes to theft?
Brian Geno: I hear about people who go shopping in malls, in particular, and will go while they’re shopping, looking for particular things. They’ll conceal them in a few different ways. For example, they’ll try something on and then they’ll put their other clothes on top of it and then they’ll walk out. Or, they’ll take something form one part of the store and while they are waling to another kind of remote part of the store they’ll pull the tags and the sensors off and try to hide them. It’s in retail establishments where you can buy jewelry, clothes, that sort of thing, easily concealed. Then they’ll move on to the next store. After they’ve had two or three things here two or three things there they’ll think that is sort of a day, that is their take for the day and they’ll leave. That is probably the most common scenario that I run into although, there are variations on the theme are pretty big.