Who is eligible for expunctions? NC law allows people of certain statutory criteria to expunge their criminal records. Expunctions are available to people charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime that was ultimately dismissed. It is possible to get multiple expunctions under this umbrella if the offenses occurred during the same 12-month period of time or were disposed of during the same term of court. Expunctions are available to people under 21 at the time of drug offenses, people who committed misdemeanors or non-violent felonies before turning 18, those who were convicted of gang-related offenses before turning 17. It is possible for people with adult convictions to have non-violent crime convictions expunged from their criminal record, however there is a 15-year waiting period. Persons with records of sex-related crimes, serious drug offenses and major felonies are not eligible for alteration. Keep in mind that you cannot get unlimited expunctions and should consult with an attorney to help you decide whether you should use an expunction and how to go about doing so.
An expunction is the legal equivalent of curing the cancer that is a criminal arrest.
The process of expungement and expunction are one in the same thing, they both remove criminal arrests, charges, and convictions from public records.
An expunction happens when a state district judge orders the criminal records stemming from a criminal arrest destroyed. Adults over the age of 21 may have non-violent crimes expunged after 15 years after your conviction or after your conditions of the conviction have been satisfied, such as probation or parole.
In North Carolina, if you are eligible for expunction you must complete a petition and order of expunction with the court in the county in which the arrest or conviction occurred.
A criminal record could prevent you from signing a lease, applying for a job, obtaining a license, volunteering in local philanthropies, buying a house, etc. Without an expunction, criminal arrests, charges, and convictions remain on your record and are public knowledge to anyone who does a criminal background check.
Please feel free to contact us to speak with a criminal defense attorney about any other expunction questions.