For many people an old criminal conviction or dismissed criminal case could be the difference between landing their dream job or getting passed over for someone else with a clean criminal record. Many people are unaware that they may be eligible to have their criminal convictions erased through the expungement process.
Dismissed Cases Still Show Up on Your Record in North Carolina
Many people think that when their case is dismissed in North Carolina all records are erased. That’s not true. Those records stay visible to the public unless the charges are erased through the expungement process. You always want to put your best foot forward on a job interview and explaining why you were charged with a bogus assault charge that was quickly dismissed doesn’t allow you to make a good first impression.
Three Key Factors in Expungement Eligibility in North Carolina
- Key Factor Number One: Age
In North Carolina there are different rules for expungement eligibility for certain misdemeanor and felony convictions based on a date of offense when the individual was under 18 years old. There are also different rules for certain felony and misdemeanor drug and alcohol convictions when the individual was under 22 years of age at the date of offense. Then there is another set of rules for those 21 and older at the time of the offense.
- Key Factor Number Two: Time Since the Conviction
In North Carolina there are different time requirements for an expungement. For certain charges/convictions that happened under the age of 18 and 22 the wait time could vary from one to four years depending on the type of offense. For those with a date of offense beyond the age of 21 there is a fifteen year wait in North Carolina for expungements of eligible felony and misdemeanor charges. The individual must also have a clean record.
- Key Factor Number Three: Type of Offense
In North Carolina there are certain crimes that are not eligible for an expungement even if the individual meets all other statutory criteria. For example a DWI conviction is not eligible for an expungement nor are assault convictions. Any A-G Felony convictions or Class A1 Misdemeanor convictions are not eligible for an expungement in North Carolina.
Expungements are available to many people but the rules are all based on statute and an individual must meet specific statutory criteria to be eligible to file for an expungement. A NC Expungement lawyer can explain the rules and tell you whether or not you are eligible for an expungement of your dismissed charge or your criminal conviction.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for their insight into expungement proceedings.