How to Obtain Criminal Records in Virginia

By Aaron Gifford
Virginia, the state, reports, criminal convictions

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In Virginia, the state police are responsible for processing criminal history records that are maintained in the Central Criminal Records Exchange. According to the Virginia State Police, records of criminal conviction can be released to individuals seeking their own records, law enforcement agencies, certain employers, state agencies, child care or adult day care institutions, child welfare agencies and schools. The state charges a fee for criminal history records.

Verify the name, address and date of birth of the person you are researching. If the person has a common name, make sure you have their middle name or at least a middle initial. If you are a potential employer, the person will include that information on their application. Otherwise, check with the county Board of Elections to get the person's address and date of birth.

Ask local police departments and courts for any records involving that person. Police are required to maintain a log book of arrests, but there's no guarantee that their database can pinpoint old records with a name search. The length of time for which agencies are required to maintain records varies by state. The police records will note which court the case was handled in. Checking with police first is important because if the arrest did not result in a conviction, the court records may have been sealed or expunged and the state Central Criminal Records Exchange, in turn, would be unlikely to have records.

Request records from the Virginia Central Criminal Records Exchange. Select the appropriate form at https://apps.vsp.virginia.gov/ncjis/publicforms.do. Completed documents can be mailed to:

Department of State Police P. O. Box 85076 Richmond, VA 23261-5076.

A check or money order for the current fees is required with each request.

About the Author

Aaron Gifford is based in New York. He has been on staff at the "Syracuse Post-Standard," the "Watertown Daily Times" and the "Oneida Daily Dispatch." He's also written for "Long Island Newsday," "Empire State Report" magazine and "In Good Health." He has been writing professionally since 1995. Gifford holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University at Buffalo.

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