If you or someone you love in or around Henrico or Richmond, Virginia, has “an ‘F’ on his report card” and is interested in having civil rights restored in Virginia, read on for an explanation of the latest revision to Virginia’s § 18.2-308.2—it could affect your restoration process! This change affects restorations anywhere in the Commonwealth, including Hanover, Powhatan, Goochland, New Kent, King William, James City County, Prince George, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Prince Edward, Amelia, Cumberland, Buckingham, and beyond.

What Happened?: Under Virginia Law, any resident of the Commonwealth who has lost his Civil Rights because of a state felony conviction may petition the Circuit Court of the county or city where he resides to reinstate his Civil Rights. If you aren’t a resident of Virginia, you can instead petition the Circuit Court of the city or county where you were convicted of a felony for reinstatement. This general framework for reinstatement hasn’t changed.

What has changed is Section C of the above-cited statute. The language of that statute, effective as of January 1, 2021, now includes the following passage:

The clerk shall certify and forward forthwith to the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE), on a form provided by the CCRE, a copy of the order to be accompanied by a complete set of the petitioner’s fingerprints. The Department of State Police shall forthwith enter the petitioner’s name and description in the CCRE so that the order’s existence will be made known to law-enforcement personnel accessing the computerized criminal history records for investigative purposes.

What Difference Does This Make to Me?: After January 1, 2021, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is directed by law to send to the Central Criminal Records Exchange (“CCRE”) a copy of the Order of Reinstatement and a complete set of fingerprints for anyone who is granted an order reinstating his rights. This means on the date of your hearing you should have with you a complete set of fingerprints ready for the Court Clerk to mail off. Without it, your process will be delayed for however long it takes you to provide the fingerprint card to the Clerk of Court.

Where Do I Get Fingerprinted?: It’s 2021, and as of this writing, the pandemic still drags on, affecting many administrative and ministerial functions of the Courts and their related agencies.

Under normal circumstances, Henrico County Police offers fingerprinting services at the Henrico Public Safety Building, located at 7721 East Parham Road. Right now, Henrico Police has suspended their fingerprinting services due to Covid-19, but you can check their status by clicking here. Henrico County charges $10.00 for the first fingerprint card and $5.00 for additional cards.

Currently, the Virginia State Police are still offering fingerprinting services, and offer those services at their headquarters at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike on Southside during normal business hours. The State Police also advise individuals who need fingerprinting for non-criminal purposes to check with their local field offices to confirm if they are able to perform non-criminal fingerprinting. In Henrico, we have the Area 1 Field Office located at 9300 Brook Road. You can call them at (804) 553-3400 or email them here. The fees are $10.00 for the first card, and $5.00 for each additional card (and you can pay by credit card only at the Headquarters on Midlothian Turnpike).

The reinstatement process can be complicated, and if you want to talk to me about getting some professional assistance, E-mail me, Call me at (804) 250-8911 or fill out the form available here.

This Blog originates with the Law Office of Thomas E. A. Bishop, an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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