Expungement of Criminal Arrest Records: Clarity in Statutory Interpretation Amidst Dissonance Within

On March 1, 2018, the Virginia Supreme Court issued a soon-to-be published opinion in the case, A.R.A. v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2018 Va. LEXIS 14 (VA. 2018). In the decision, the Court reversed the Circuit Court of Williamsburg (“trial court”) and remanded with instructions to grant A.R.A. (“ARA”) her requested relief. The Court fractured in deciding the case. Justice Stephen R. McCullough wrote for a four-justice majority, including Senior Justice Russell and Justices Powell and Mims. Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons concurred and filed a separate opinion. Justice D. Arthur Kelsey wrote in dissent joined by Justice Goodwyn. ARA petitioned the trial court to expunge records concerning a 20

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