Citizens with Records are NOT Dishonest

I just read an article in the Free Lance-Star that didn’t sit well with me. It’s a puff piece for the newspaper and the Culpeper Commonwealth’s Attorney. Basically, a wrongfully-accused citizen just had a felony arrest expunged (completely erased) from the records.

That’s great! Expungement is a wonderful tool to remove old charges from the records, if those charges were dismissed.

Here’s what bothers me: the Commonwealth’s Attorney said, “If you’re an honest citizen, you shouldn’t have a record.”

That implies that people with records are DIShonest or liars.


I represent lots of honest, hard-working citizens who simply made a mistake. Even if you’re facing a DWI, that doesn’t make you a liar. It just means that you may have misjudged your alcohol intake. The same goes for reckless driving charges, driving on suspended, and even possession of marijuana.

There’s a difference between making a mistake and being dishonest. Good folks make mistakes occasionally. They pay the price and move forward with life. Making a mistake doesn’t mean you’re not an “honest citizen.”

A Commonwealth’s Attorney must understand this distinction. Yes, it’s her job to prosecute crimes for the Commonwealth. But there’s a BIG difference between saying “You broke the law” versus “You’re a dishonest person.”

photo credit: Johnny Vulkan

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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