Having a criminal record can make it impossible to do things like get a job, apply for housing, or pass background checks. Previously, the North Carolina expungement law meant waiting years and years to petition for a cleared record.
The new expungement law for North Carolina went into effect on December 1st, 2017, and it’s great news for those who have been charged with nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies. Senate Bill 445 was created by both parties with the intention of giving more people the freedom of a clean record faster.
Before this new law was put into effect, those charged with these misdemeanors and felonies would have to wait over 15 years to expunge their criminal records. Under the new Bill, Misdemeanor convictions can be expunged in as little as five years, while felony convictions are now 10 years. There are also no more limits on the number of dismissals that can be expunged at one time.
It is important to note that expunging one’s record does not always remove it entirely. In simple terms, this now means the charged individual can answer “no” on that dreaded “have you ever been convinced of a felony?” line. In some cases, these charges can still be accessed in necessary instances.
If you wish to get your own criminal record expunged in North Carolina, the process can be complicated. First, you must file a petition in the county from which the charge was originally filed. You will then need to complete one of the new expungement forms for North Carolina which can be found online or at your local courthouse. An expungement can take anywhere from nine months to an entire year to finalize once the process of filing is complete.
The best way to navigate this process is with the assistance of an experienced attorney familiar with the new expungement laws in North Carolina. If you’re interested in clearing your record through an expungement, speak to an expert at Sparrow Law Firm today.