Jacksonville, NC Expungement Attorney
Have you been convicted of a crime in the past that is still impacting you much more than it should? Having a criminal record, no matter how small, can affect nearly every aspect of your life and future. Matters involving employment, child custody, renting or leasing, and owning firearms (among others) can become seriously complicated. If you have a criminal record that keeps coming back to haunt you, then expungement might be a good option for you.
This article will cover what expungement is and how it can help you get a new start and leave your mistakes in the past. If you have any further questions or want to get an experienced North Carolina expungement attorney working for you ASAP, call Aden Wilkie—the Devil Dog Defender—at 910-333-9626.
North Carolina Expungement Laws
In late 2017, the governor of North Carolina signed Senate Bill 445 into law. This act made several changes to North Carolina’s preexisting expungement laws. Of the most prominent changes was the reduced waiting period before convictions are able to be expunged. In addition, it allowed offenders with a previous expungement the ability to obtain further expungements.
More recently, in June 2020, a new bill was passed. Senate Bill 562 (aka the “Second Chance Act”) is intended to offer a clean slate for non-violent criminal offenders by expanding their eligibility and automating the expungement of certain cases after the date of December 1, 2021. This means that felonies and misdemeanors where the defendant is found not guilty or where the case is dismissed will automatically be expunged. There is no need to so much as file a petition with the court, as they will remove the charge from your record on their own.
The passing of these new laws has made expungement much more accessible for North Carolina residents. However, it is important to note that in addition to these looser laws, law enforcement personnel, as well as prosecutors, may now have access to all records.
Expungement Attorney FAQs
In the world of law, expungement is the process of sealing or erasing a person’s previous criminal records. It essentially directs the court to disregard the criminal conviction completely and treat it as if it never happened. The goal is to erase it from an individual’s record and seemingly from public knowledge.
An expungement is not the same as a legal pardon, which is the formal forgiveness of a crime. In the United States, a pardon may only be issued by a public official, such as a state governor or the President. Expungements, on the other hand, are issued by a judge or the court.
There are many reasons why someone may want their record cleared. One may be that they are trying to get accepted into a school or job that will only hire candidates who do not show up in a criminal background check. Others may seek expungement because they have been wrongly accused of committing crimes that they did not commit. Whatever the reason, getting an expungement for a criminal record can truly only ever benefit a person.
Yes, expungement is available for a misdemeanor in North Carolina. Previously, misdemeanor convictions required offenders to wait at least 15 years before the possibility of expungement. Under current law, misdemeanor offenses qualify for expungement after only 5 years. Offenders with multiple non-violent misdemeanor convictions must wait 7 years (with good behavior) to petition for expungement.
Believe it or not, it is also possible to get felony convictions expunged in North Carolina. However, this only applies for certain felonies, not all of them. Guilty charges of violent felonies cannot be expunged. (Remember, if the violent felony was decided as not guilty or was dismissed, it IS eligible for expungement.)
Likewise, nonviolent felony convictions from Class A to Class G may not be up for expungement. Only nonviolent felony convictions of level H and I may be expunged.
Like with previous misdemeanor convictions, offenders guilty of a felony were once required to wait at least 15 years before they were able to petition for expungement in North Carolina. Under new law, felony offenders typically qualify for expungement after just 10 years. Of course, this all depends on your age and the type of charge you received.
For an expungement to be successful, it must be properly petitioned and filed in the county where you incurred the charges. There is a plethora of paperwork to be done and legal requirements that must be met before an expungement can be approved. There are several different forms that apply for each subsection of the expungement statute. These forms vary significantly depending on the statutes and restrictions determined by your age, charge, and case outcome.
You must also ensure that you are filing in the correct jurisdiction and at the right level. Superior court cases require that expungement hearings take place in superior court. District court cases are heard in, you guessed it, district courts.
As you can see, there is plenty that goes into the expungement process. That is why it’s likely that the easiest and most favorable option for you is to obtain the help of a North Carolina expungement attorney. They will handle every legal aspect of your case and give you your best chance at having your criminal record expunged permanently.
Call North Carolina Expungement Attorney Aden Wilkie Today!
If you’re looking for a lawyer to help with expungement in North Carolina or if you’re curious as to whether you are even eligible for expungement, you have come to the right place. Here at Wilkie Law Firm, we’re proud of our track record of success and would love to represent your case. Let expungement attorney Aden Wilkie help you bury the past once and for all. Reach out by calling 910-333-9626 toll-free or fill out the online contact form to request your consultation today.