The Expanding Availability of Expunctions in North Carolina
Recent changes in North Carolina expunction law have broadened the scope of expunctions available while simultaneously making expunction law more complicated. Due to the complexity of expunctions, you should hire a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the process.
North Carolina now allows expunctions for, among others —
1. Certain dismissed misdemeanor and felony charges for those without prior felony convictions or prior expunctions;
2. Certain misdemeanor convictions committed by an individual under the age of 18 without prior felony or misdemeanor convictions;
3. Certain misdemeanor larceny convictions occurring more than 15 years ago committed by an individual without prior felony convictions;
4. Certain gang offenses, both dismissed charges and convictions, committed by an individual who was under the age of 18 and having no prior felony or misdemeanor convictions;
5. Certain dismissed alcohol and drug charges for individuals who were under the age of 21;
6. Certain drug charges for which the individual, who was under 21 years old, was found or pled guilty but successfully completed an approved drug education program and having no prior felony or misdemeanor convictions;
7. Certain non-violent felonies, not more serious than a Class H felony, for which the individual was found or pled guilty but was under the age of 18 at the time of commission and at least 4 years have since passed since completion of the sentence;
8. Certain non-violent misdemeanors and felonies for which an individual was found or pled guilty and which occurred at least 15 years prior by an individual with no other felony or misdemeanor convictions;
9. Certain charges which were dismissed as a result of the individual being a victim of identity fraud;
10. DNA records where no charges were ever brought with the Statute of Limitations or three years have passed and there is no active prosecution; and
11. A conviction for which the governor later granted a pardon of innocence.
Please note that many of these expunction statutes are complicated and often have other requirements, such as — filing fees/court costs, completion of community service hours, completion of affidavits, etc.
An attorney who is familiar with North Carolina expunction laws and local court procedures will be able to assist you in navigating this complex process. The attorneys of the Clifford Division of Clifford Clendenin & O’Hale, LLP have handled hundreds of expunctions in Guilford County and have even worked in conjunction with attorneys in Mecklenburg, Pitt, & other counties in order to have charges expunged across multiple counties.