Expungement Under North Carolina Criminal Law
In an effort to give the general public a better understanding of what expunction / expungement is and its implications, criminal defense lawyers Carla Litrenta and Michael Litrenta have compiled and answered the most frequent questions asked by their clients about this subject. Below you will find them.
- Am I eligible for expungement?
- What happens if my expungement is granted?
- Can all criminal records be expunged?
- First time convictions of non-violent offenses (misdemeanors or felonies).
- Any charge that resulted in a dismissal or a not guilty verdict.
- First time conviction of certain offenses committed before the offender was 18 (or 22 in some cases).
We are frequently asked about expungements, what it means to have something expunged, and who is eligible. There is no easy answer because eligibility depends on several factors including the type of crime you were charged with, your criminal history and age, and how long it has been since you receive the charge. We are happy to discuss your specific situation with you during a free consultation. Here is a brief run down on some of the general rules that apply to expungements.
In determining if you are eligible for an expungement. The first factor is determining whether the offense itself can be expunged (see below). Another factor to look at is whether your conduct and criminal history, or lack thereof, meet the requirements set forth under the expungement statutes.
To expunge a first time conviction of a non-violent offense there are multiple requirements that must be satisfied. Some of those requirements include a waiting period and a lack of subsequent criminal history. Ten years must have past since the conviction for non-violent felonies and five years must have past since the conviction for non-violent misdemeanors. Additionally, you can have no subsequent convictions and there can be no outstanding warrants for your arrest.
Charges that were dismissed or resulted in a not guilty plea may be eligible for expungement.
In December 2017 changes were made dealing with expungements and eligibility. A complex analysis must be done to see if your record is eligible to be expunged. You should seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to help navigate you through the expungement process.
When an expungement is granted a court orders the destruction of that criminal record. That means that any agency that has a copy of that criminal record is ordered to erase the record. It should be noted that the prosecutor’s office will still have access to expunged records and may use an expunged conviction for future sentencing purposes. If your expungement is granted you or your attorney should register that order on www.expungementclearinghouse.org.
No, not all records can be expunged. Eligibility for expungement depends on the nature and classification of the offense, the disposition or result of the case, the offender’s age when the offense was committed and the offender’s criminal history. North Carolina laws do not currently allow DWI charges to be expunged. There are three types of records may be eligible for expungment.
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 at the top of 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.