Expunctions / Expungements in North Carolina
What is an expunction?
In North Carolina the destruction of a criminal record pursuant to a court order is called an expunction (also known as an expungement). There are limited situations in which someone would qualify for an expunction. In North Carolina a person can obtain more than one expunction in their lifetime provided they otherwise qualify. There have been more than 60,000 expunctions granted in North Carolina since 2011-2012.
Three types of cases that might qualify for expunction are:
- First time convictions for a non-violent offense.
- A charge that was dismissed or disposed of with a not guilty plea.
- First time conviction of certain offenses committed before the offender was 18 (sometimes 22) years of age.
What are the benefits of expunging a criminal record?
If you receive an order for expunction that means your criminal record must be deleted. That order for deletion applies to North Carolina courts, law enforcement agencies, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Public Safety, the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and other agencies the applicant might request.
In addition to public agencies, the order to delete the record requires private companies that collect and distribute criminal history information to delete information that has been expunged. In the event an agency does not follow this order to delete your record, there are remedies available to you.
In addition to the deletion of the criminal record from your history, an expunction restores your status as if the criminal proceedings never occurred. There are protections granted to those who receive expunctions in terms of when and what must be disclosed to future employers. Private employers and educational institutes are prohibited under North Carolina law from asking applicants if they have had any records expunged.
How can I file for an expunction?
There are specific guidelines, qualifications and time limitations to be aware of when filing a petition for expunction of a criminal record in North Carolina. North Carolina laws on expunction were recently updated in 2017. The criminal defense attorneys at Litrenta Law are well education in the types of cases that qualify for expunction. Obtaining an order of expunction can take longer than 6 months so don’t wait to see if you qualify. Set up a free consultation with Mike or Carla to see if you qualify for this specific relief.
What if I don’t qualify for an expunction?
We can talk about whether your case might qualify for a Certificate of Relief. A Certificate of Relief is not the same as an expunction but might be helpful and even necessary to retain employment, housing benefits or occupational licenses. In North Carolina there is a specific process to obtain a Certificate of Relief and only certain offenses qualify. A hearing is required to obtain a Certificate of Relief so it is important to be represented by an experienced attorney. Set up a time to speak with our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys in Charlotte, NC to discuss the benefits of this relief and whether you qualify. Please call us today at (704) 800-4220 or fill out the online form located at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.
Contact Us About Clearing Your Criminal Record Through Expungement
If you are seeking expungement of your criminal records in North Carolina we are here to help! Contact us today at (704) 800-4220 or fill out the online form located on this page and one of our Charlotte expungement lawyers will contact you shortly. Your privacy is important to us. We will keep your information confidential.