Fearless at Trial. Invincible in the Courtroom. Getting Criminal Records Expunged

What is Expungement?

Expungement is the process by which a record of a criminal event is permanently removed from an individual’s state criminal record. To get something expunged is to get it erased. An expunction is a court order that removes an individual’s criminal record and, with limited exceptions, returns the individual to the status they occupied before the criminal record existed.

How can an expungement help me?

A criminal record can cause difficulty gaining employment, housing, and professional licenses. In fact, even if the charges are dismissed, the collateral consequences of a criminal charge or conviction are often more injurious than that of their actual or potential court punishment. Having a record expunged can increase the chance at gaining employment, getting a professional license, or obtaining suitable housing. If you had your criminal incident expunged, with few exceptions, you may without committing perjury deny under oath that the criminal incident occurred. In addition, under NCGS § 15A-153, a private employer or educational institution may not require an applicant to disclose information that has been expunged.

How does an expungement happen?

In North Carolina, you can petition a court, by a motion in the cause, to have criminal arrests, charges, and even convictions permanently erased from your North Carolina criminal record. There are many types of expunctions in North Carolina, and each has its own requirements, with some requiring affidavits. Once the record has been ordered by a judge to be expunged, the clerk of superior court, in the applicable county, must send a copy of the order of expunction to certain agencies that are ordered to expunge from its records all entries made as a result of the incident. The Administrative Office of the Courts maintains a confidential file of the names of those people to whom it received a notice under NCGS § 15A-150, and my only disclose the information contained in its file pursuant to NCGS § 15A-151.

What can be expunged?

North Carolina has many expunction statutes and the most common are:

  • A Charge Resulting in Dismissal or Not Guilty, under NCGS §15A-146
  • A Nonviolent Offense, under NCGS § 15A145.5
  • A Juvenile Record, under NCGS § 7B-3200
  • A Misdemeanor Under Age 18, under NCGS § 15A-145 .
  • A Controlled Substance Under Age 22, under NCGS § 15A-145.2
  • A Pardon of Innocence, under NCGS § 15A-149
  • A Nonviolent Offense, under NCGS § 15A145.5
  • Identity Theft, under NCGS § 15A-147
  • DNA Records, under NCGS § 15A-148
  • A Prostitution Offense, under NCGS § 15A-145.6
  • A Nonviolent Felony Under Age 22, under NCGS § 15A-145.4
  • A Gang Offense Under Age 18, under NCGS § 15A-145.1

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