Expunctions in North Carolina

While a criminal record is stressful in and of itself, it also gives rise to significant barriers to employment, professional licensure, and even affordable housing. When a person unfortunately finds his or herself in a criminal situation, they do not expect that record to follow them for the rest of their lives.

Criminal records are generally permanent. There are a few exceptions that vary by state. North Carolina allows some criminal records to be expunged, depending on the type of crime, whether an individual was convicted or simply accused, or acquitted of a crime.

In North Carolina, an expunction is the destruction of a criminal record by court order. An expunction will restore an individual to the status that he or she maintained before the criminal record.

Attorney for Expunctions in Raleigh, North Carolina

If you or someone you know is seeking to have his or her criminal record expunged and having their reputation restored, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Coolidge Law Firm.

We have dedicated ourselves to providing the best possible defense, and we are committed to achieving a successful outcome for our clients. One mistake, even a criminal one, should not follow you for the rest of your life.

Our office represents clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Garner, Apex, Wendell, Wake Forest, and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.

Call (919) 239-8448 today to schedule a free consultation.


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Can I Get a Criminal Record Expunged?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not easy to expunge a criminal record. Further, not all criminal records are eligible for expunction.

North Carolina, specifically, only allows expunctions in three instances:

  • A charged that was dismissed or ruled “not guilty;”
  • A first-time offense committed under age 18-22;
  • A first-time, nonviolent offense that was committed more than 15 years ago.

In addition, North Carolina has a specific statute for each type of crime or status that is eligible for expunction. Each statute has specific instructions and requirements for expunging a criminal record that falls under the statute designation.

There are twelve expunctions statutes. Those statutes include the following:


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Effect of an Expunction

An expunction allows an individual to return to his or her status before the expunged criminal record in numerous ways. The court ordered deletion requirements apply to North Carolina’s state and local law enforcement agencies, the courts, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Department of Public Safety and other governmental agencies.

Expunction orders do require private businesses and entities that compile and distribute criminal information to delete the information hat they have. While expunction is very thorough, there are some exceptions to expunction. For example:

  • Investigative files that are not open to the public
  • An expunction order does not apply to appellate court records; and
  • The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) retains a confidential file of the names of individuals who have received an expunction in an adult criminal matter.

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Additional Resources

Summary of NC Expunctions –visit the North Carolina Justice Center for a full thorough summary of North Carolina expunctions in 2017, including the three categories of crimes that are eligible for expunction, the twelve expunction statutes and various resources to find out more information about how to file an expunction in North Carolina.

Relief From a Criminal Conviction – Visit the University of North Carolina School of Government’s official website for a full resource guide about how to obtain relief from a criminal conviction. The guide provides information on the types of expunctions, the effect of an expunction, how to obtain relief, updates on recent legislation, and other considerations for expunctions in North Carolina. The purpose of the guide is to inform individuals who have been convicted of a crime about the collateral consequences of a conviction. The guide reviews the mechanisms available under North Carolina law for obtaining relief and is a free online research tool with detailed information about the consequences of a criminal record.


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Find a Lawyer for Expunctions in Wake County, NC

If you or someone you know has a criminal record that has been causing them issues in housing, licensing, financial, or other matters throughout Raleigh, NC, speak with an experienced attorney at Coolidge Law Firm.

Our lawyers understand the importance of having a clean record and how one mistake can impact your life. Learn more about the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction when you call our office at (919) 239-8448.

We represent clients throughout Wake County, North Carolina in areas like Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Wake Forest, and Fuqua-Varina.

Call now for a free consultation.

This article was last updated Thursday, November 30, 17.

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