Call us to find out what options are available for you to clear up your criminal history!
The law regarding expungements (expunctions) in North Carolina was amended at the end of 2017 to provide expanded opportunities for relief. The law now has a reduced waiting time to expunge non-violent felony and misdemeanor convictions and allows for expunction of more than one dismissed charge. The new law also allows expunction of most non-violent misdemeanors after five years without new convictions, compared to the fifteen years previously required. Non-violent felonies can be eligible after ten years without a conviction. The change in the law also expanded the availability of Certificates of Relief, which are designed to relieve folks from civil licensing and other "collateral" consequences of a conviction. These developments are a big positive for people convicted of criminal acts who have changed their lives and seek to be productive citizens.
As most people know, a criminal record can have a devastating affect on a person's ability to find housing and employment. The North Carolina School of Government has a very useful webpage that can clarify all of the potential so-called "collateral consequences" of a criminal conviction.
Even cases that resulted in a dismissal can and should be expunged, because even the fact of a past charge can be prejudicial in some situations! Furthermore, once a Petition is granted, the arresting and jailing agencies (typically the local Sheriff) will be ordered to destroy their records. If the case was dismissed for a reason other than successful completion of a deferral, the courts do not charge a filing fee to expunge the dismissed case. In those situations, the only cost would be a very low fee for our time preparing the petition and following up with the court to ensure it is granted.
Expunction of a criminal conviction is a little more involved and requires the gathering of information and signatures, but we keep our fees low for this type of work because we see it as providing a benefit to the community. As a threshhold matter, it is important that anyone seeking an expunction knows that any outstanding court costs, restitution, or civil judgments from a prior conviction will act as a bar to expunction until they are paid in full.
Give us a call if you would like to discuss the possibility of us assisting with an expunction petition related to a past Wake County criminal charge or conviction.