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Recently, Governor Roy Cooper signed a new expungement law that will reduce the waiting period to have non-violent misdemeanor and felony convictions expunged. The goal of Senate Bill 445, is to give more than 2 million North Carolina residents the opportunity to have their criminal history cleared faster.
What Changes Will the New Expungement Law Make?
As of December 17, 2017, the new expungement law will alter the following things:
- The wait period for Misdemeanor convictions is reduced from 15 years to five years
- The wait period for Felony convictions is reduced from 15 years to 10 years
- There will no longer be a limit placed on the number of dismissals that can be expunged
- Prosecutors and law enforcement will have access to expunged records
The following crimes can be expunged under the new law:
- Drug Charges
Unfortunately, felony convictions for violent offenses are not eligible for expungement. Expungement of drug charges depends on the exact charge and age of the defendant at the time they were charged. The new law has wait periods for convictions that range from 12 months to 10 years for people who were under the age of 22 at the time of the offense.
How Do I Get My Record Expunged in North Carolina?
You will need to file a petition in the County Courthouse where your charge originated from. Because there are numerous forms that apply to each statute subsection for North Carolina’s expungement law, you should enlist in the help of an experienced attorney to ensure you complete the filing process correctly.
Under North Carolina law, the crimes that you have been charged with will remain on your record indefinitely. This includes pending charges, convictions, Prayer for Judgment Continued, and dismissals. This applies to both misdemeanor and felony convictions. It is important to note that your charges will never automatically be removed from your record after a certain number of years. If you wish to have your record cleaned up, you will need to file for expungement.
Speak with Our Raleigh Team of Attorneys Today
Do you need help getting your criminal record expunged? Our lawyers can assist you. At Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, we have over 50+ years of combined legal experience and we will aggressively defend your legal rights. Let us put our skills and experience to work for your today.
Contact our expungement attorneys, or call (919) 887-8040 to schedule a free consultation.