A criminal record can have a lasting effect on your life. It can create difficult experiences when applying for jobs or schools, seeking housing or getting assistance from governmental entities. A criminal record can create barriers that can hold you back. However, there may be the option of expunction. In North Carolina, an expunction is the destruction of a criminal record by court order.
An expunction, also referred to as an expungement, of a criminal record restores the person to the status he occupied before the criminal record existed,. Expungement is not available for all offenders, but a criminal defense attorney can help you decide if seeking an expunction may be an option for you.
A conviction can be damaging to your future, whether it is a felony conviction or a misdemeanor. Contact a Raleigh expunction attorney at Coolidge Law Firm to help seal your criminal record. The attorneys can help you through the process and work with you to effectively clear your criminal record.
Coolidge Law Firm represents clients throughout the Wake County area, including Raleigh, Apex, Rolesville, Garner, Wake Forest, Cary, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina and Knightdale.Coolidge Law Firm also works with students at the region's highly regarded schools, including Duke University, North Carolina State University, Wake Tech, and UNC - Chapel Hill. Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free consultation.
Under North Carolina law, people who have only one non-violent conviction on their record may be eligible for expunction. This does not include traffic violations. This law, under N.C.G.S. § 15A-145.5, allows for the expunction of certain non-violent misdemeanor and felony convictions with no limitation on age.
The crime, however, cannot be a Class A through G felony or a Class A1 misdemeanor. The offense also cannot be violent, sexually based or involve methamphetamines, heroin, or possession with intent to sell or deliver or sell and deliver cocaine. The person must wait 15 years from the date of the conviction before filing a petition to have the record expunged.
Even if a person meets the criteria to have a record expunged, it is not done automatically. A person must file a petition, in the court where the person was convicted, for expunction of a nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony.
The petition must include:
The district attorney will have 30 days from when to petition is filed to object. The court may grant the district attorney another 30 days to object to the position if necessary. The presiding judge can call upon a probation officer for any additional investigation or verification of the petitioner's conduct since the conviction. The court also can review any other information the court deems relevant.
If the expungement is granted, all law enforcement agencies, including local agencies, with records of the offense will seal the records. Employers that perform background checks on prospective employees would not have knowledge of the conviction or even the charge if it had been expunged, according to N.C.G.S. § 15A-145.5.
Offenders under age 18 also could have their criminal records sealed, but they also must meet certain criteria. For example, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-145.4 allows a person the expungement of a misdemeanor conviction if the offense was committed before to the person's 18th birthday.
The person must wait until two years have elapsed following the later of either the conviction or the completion of probation before petitioning to have it expunged. The juvenile cannot have a subsequent misdemeanor or felony conviction.
Nonviolent felony convictions for juveniles under age 18 also could be expunged if the person had no prior or subsequent convictions, excluding traffic violations. The petitioner has to wait at least for years since the date of the conviction before he or she can apply to have it expunged. The juvenile also must have performed 100 hours of community service since conviction and has earned a high school diploma or GED.
Offenders under age 22 could file to have certain drug convictions expunged, including some misdemeanor and felony possession charges. The accused must wait at least 12 months after the date of the conviction before filing a petition. He or she also must not have any other convictions.
If you have faced charges and met conditions for expungement in Wake County, contact a Raleigh expunction lawyer at Coolidge Law Firm. You may not have to live with the burden of a criminal record. The attorneys will fight hard for the sealing or expungement of your records. Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free consultation.