Can I Have My Criminal Record Expunged in North Carolina?
Making the first impression is important, and you wouldn’t want your criminal record to stand in the way of your dream job. Getting an expungement in North Carolina will erase your public records, including any outstanding charges or convictions. Once your expungement in North Carolina has been granted, you do not have to admit to being arrested or even standing trial for an expunged offense. Our team of dedicated attorneys at King Law Firm is here to assist you in discovering if you’re eligible for an expungement.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is when a criminal record is ordered to be sealed by the judge, so the public no longer has access to them. The purpose of expungement is sealing a criminal record as though the charge or conviction never occurred. In December of 2017, Governor Cooper signed senate bill 445, expanding qualifications for expungements. With this new state law in place, many people are given the opportunity to be granted an expungement in North Carolina. Additionally, the bill significantly reduced the amount of time people needed to wait before becoming eligible for expungement. For example, with the new bill, misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement after five years instead of 15.
How Can I Have My Criminal Record Expunged in North Carolina?
To expunge your criminal record in North Carolina, you must first find out if you qualify for one. With recent changes made to expungement laws in North Carolina, understanding the requirements can be confusing.
Here are the criteria you must follow to qualify for expungement:
- Pay all court-ordered costs and provide proof
- You must not be on parole or probation
- You must not have any open criminal cases
- You must not have any pending criminal charges
- You must meet the required waiting period for expungement
Once you’ve discovered that you’re eligible for expungement, you will need to file a petition at the county courthouse, the same one where you were charged. If your case was heard in the superior court, your expungement process would also be held there. For district court cases, they are heard at that trial level.
It is essential to look up the proper jurisdiction before filing the petition. For certain expungements, there is no filing fee. An example of this would be if the court dismissed your charges or if you were found not guilty. For other types of expungements, there is a $175.00 filing fee. The expungement process in North Carolina typically takes between 9 to 12 months.
At King Law Firm, We’re Here to Help
Even though a lawyer is not required in North Carolina, hiring an attorney can help avoid a lengthy and complicated process. Any error that happens along the way can cause significant delays in your case. Before filing your expungement petition, you should consider speaking with one of our lawyers, who will be able to review your case and guide you through the next steps. Our initial consultations are free. Contact our office (855) 205-9938 today to set an appointment.