Clearing your record might be harder to do than you realize

Posted at 6:38 AM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 06:38:14-05
Norfolk, Va. - You could have charges on your record and not even know it. You can get arrested, go to court and charges are dismissed or dropped, but the arrest could still be on your record. And clearing your record might be harder to do than you realize.

Robert Williams faced a situation in 2013 after he was arrested then found not guilty of a DWI.

He was shocked to learn his record stated that he had been charged.

Williams is an adjunct professor at Tidewater Community College.  He and his class discussed their concerns about this issue and then created a bill to change the law. Then they brought it to Delegate Lionell Spruill of the 77th District.

"People don't realize that it does affect you," said Williams, "It totally doesn't make sense at all and I thought it was archaic. I think people are under the misconception that, 'Hey my record is clean because whatever I was charged with, I was not convicted for,' and that's just not true.”

And the fees to hire a lawyer to get it expunged can be expensive.

"This doesn't seem fair," said Williams. "How could the state force people to pay to clear their name and I thought there had to be something that could be done?" said Williams.

NewsChannel 3's Reporter Margaret Kavanagh had a harassment charge taken out against her while covering a story.

Tonight on NewsChannel 3 at 11, learn how Margaret got her record expunged, plus look at how some are taking action in an effort to change the laws to make it easier to clear your name.