If you were charged or convicted of a crime years ago, you might be struggling to overcome the stigma of having a criminal record. This often comes up during a background check when you apply for jobs or try to rent an apartment. Employers and landlords can end up with a false impression of you because of one mistake or misunderstanding in your past. Your record could also create hurdles before a background check if you are asked to disclose past arrests or convictions on an application. By simply checking a box, you may be disregarded by hiring managers and loan officers. Not to mention, criminal convictions can impact other aspects of your life, including child custody and immigration.
One of the ways in which you can attempt to remove the hurdle of a criminal record is to speak with our expungement lawyers in Charlotte, NC regarding whether or not your conviction or prior charges can be erased. Contact Randall & Stump, PLLC at (980) 237-4579 to discuss expungement in NC and other aspects of the criminal justice process.
North Carolina Expungement Law
There are numerous statutes regarding when you can ask the court to expunge a criminal record:
- North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) §7B-3200 – Juvenile Record
- NCGS §15A-145 – Misdemeanor Under Age of 18
- NCGS §15A-145.1 – Gang Offense Under Age of 18
- NCGS §15A-145.2 – Controlled Substance Under Age of 22
- NCGS §15A-145.3 – Toxic Vapors Under Age of 22
- NCGS §15A-145.4 – Nonviolent Felony Under Age 18
- NCGS §15A-145.5 – Nonviolent Offense
- NCGS §15A-145.6 – Prostitution Offense
- NCGS §15A-146 – Charge Resulting in Dismissal or Not Guilty
- NCGS §15A-147 – Identity Theft
- NCGS §15A-148 – DNA Records
Despite the several laws regarding expunctions, you should be aware that the circumstances under which you can expunge a criminal charge or conviction are limited. Before attempting to file paperwork, you should talk to one of the expungement lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC regarding your eligibility. You must meet all requirements in order for a court to approve the expungement of your record.
There are a variety of circumstances under which you may ask for a misdemeanor conviction to be expunged. Expunged misdemeanors are removed from your record. It is as if they never happened. If you are able to have a misdemeanor conviction expunged, it will no longer come up on most background checks.
Under NCGS §15A-145, you may seek expungement of a first-time misdemeanor offense that you were convicted of before you turned 18 years old. You can also seek expungement of a misdemeanor conviction for possession of alcohol which you sustained before you were 21 years old, also known as an underage drinking charge. For these types of cases, you must wait two years from the date of the conviction or when you completed your sentence before you can petition for expungement.
You can also ask the court to expunge non-violent misdemeanors convictions, no matter your age at the time. However, exceptions are laid out in NCGS §15A-145.5. You cannot seek to expunge class A1 misdemeanors, stalking or sex-related offenses, any offense that included assault as an essential element of the crime, and others. For most misdemeanor offenses that can be expunged, you only need to wait five years before you can petition the court.
If your misdemeanor conviction is holding you back in life, contact our expungement lawyers in Charlotte, NC for help. 980-237-4579.
The expungement of Felony convictions in North Carolina is allowed in limited circumstances. You may ask the court to expunge a first-time gang-related felony that you were convicted of when you were under the age of 18. You may also ask for a first-time, non-violent felony that occurred when you were a minor or certain non-violent felony convictions that occurred at any age to be expunged.
When it comes to felony expungement, there are many restrictions and requirements you must meet before filing with the Court. The law lays out several felonies that are not eligible for expunction, including:
- Class A through G felonies
- A felony that includes assault as an essential element of the crime
- A felony that requires sex offender registration
- A sex-related or stalking offense
- A felony involving methamphetamines or heroin, or possession with intent to sell cocaine
- A felony involving placement exhibit while wearing mask, hood, or disguise, placing an exhibit with intention of intimidation, or placing a burning or flaming cross on another person’s property
- A felony involving the use of contaminated food or drink to physically or mentally incapacitate someone
- A felony in which a commercial vehicle was used
- A felony involving impaired driving
You may only seek expungement for a non-violent class I or H felony, and even then, there are many restrictions based on the specific time of your offense. There also are additional felonies excluded from expungement if you were not under the age of 18 at the time of conviction.
If you have one minor, non-violent felony conviction on your record, talk with an expungement attorney in Charlotte, NC. After 10 years, you may be able to petition the court to expunge the felony conviction from your record, which can help you move forward in life.
DWIs & Expungement
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, our expungement lawyers in Charlotte, NC often receive questions about expungement for driving while impaired (DWI) convictions. North Carolina law looks harshly on intoxicated driving. A DWI conviction is excluded from expunction law. If you were convicted of a DWI in the past, it remains on your record permanently. However, if you were charged with a DWI and acquitted in court or the charges were dropped, call us right away at 980-237-4579, as you may be eligible to have the charge expunged immediately. You can also seek expunction of a DWI if you were under 18 at the time and were charged with a misdemeanor.
Removing Arrests from Your Record
If you were arrested or charged, but not convicted, for a crime, then you may be able to have the charge expunged from your record. There is no waiting period to have arrests and charges expunged from your record, if the charges were dismissed or you were found not guilty at trial. You should contact an expungement attorney right away to get these off your record, so they will not impact your future.
The Expungement Process
If you are eligible for expungement under North Carolina law, an expungement lawyer will complete the appropriate forms and help you obtain the necessary documents. You may have to gather certain information to include with your request to the court. Such information may include affidavits that confirm you do not have other convictions, and others that support your good character. In some cases, the application for your expungement will also have to be provided to the District Attorney’s Office, so it can determine whether they oppose the charge being expunged. Once your expungement lawyer has all of the forms completed, they will file them with the clerk of court in the county where your offense occurred.
Your petition will be sent to the Administrative Office of the Courts and the State Bureau of Investigation, both of which will review your request. Next, a hearing is scheduled.
If a hearing is required, your expungement lawyer will represent you and make the argument that you meet all eligibility requirements under North Carolina expungement law, and that you maintain a good character. If the judge grants your expungement, then all records of the previous conviction or charges will be destroyed. This process can take as few as three months, or up to one year.
Talk With Our Expungement Lawyers in Charlotte, NC Today
If you have a non-violent misdemeanor or low-level non-violent felony conviction on your record, you should speak with an expungement attorney from Randall & Stump, PLLC about the possibility of having this conviction erased from your record. You can also have charges that did not result in a conviction expunged.
Our Charlotte expungement lawyers will examine your criminal record. We will review your criminal conviction to determine the level of the offense, the type of offense, and your age when you were convicted. We must gather all of these facts to determine whether you are eligible. We will then review how long it has been since your conviction, and since you completed your entire criminal sentence to determine how soon you can petition the court for expungement.
If you are currently eligible to ask for an expungement, we will guide you through the court process. Contact us today at (980) 237-4579 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.
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