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Goodbye Criminal Record: Expungement in NC

If you’ve ever had a criminal record, you probably know it can affect life well after the trial or even a sentence is complete. Find the perfect job? You might not be the perfect candidate. Want to move to a better neighborhood? You might not be eligible for a lease or to obtain financing. Criminal charges and convictions can hinder you from a number of things you might try to do to improve your situation. 

Can I Get Rid of My Criminal Record?

Some criminal charges can be expunged, or basically erased from existence. When you get an expungement, your criminal charges or convictions are destroyed or sealed from state or federal records. That means the court treats your criminal charges as if they never happened. So that three-bedroom condo you wanted or the new position you were thinking of applying for might just be within reach.

You will likely be eligible for expungement if you have charges that were dismissed or not guilty charges. Most charges must be nonviolent to be expunged. You must also have no other misdemeanor or felony convictions except for traffic violations during the applicable waiting period. 

  • Misdemeanors: You might be eligible for an expungement in North Carolina if you have one nonviolent misdemeanor conviction and at least five years have passed since the end of your sentence or probation or you have more than one nonviolent misdemeanor conviction and at least seven years have passed since the end or your sentence or probation. 
  • Felonies: You might be eligible if you have one nonviolent felony conviction and at least 10 years have passed since the end of your sentence or probation or you have two or three nonviolent felony convictions and at least 20 years have passed since the end of your sentence or probation.

Common Charges that May Qualify for Expungement

People charged with shoplifting or larceny crimes are often good candidates for expungement once time has passed. Many employers are hesitant to take a chance on someone who has a record of stealing. So even though the crime might have seemed small in comparison to some others, it can have a lasting effect on employment and so is often worth taking the effort to expunge the charge from your criminal record. 

Those charged with misdemeanor drug possession crimes may also be eligible for expungement. Small quantities of marijuana, for instance, are not treated as harshly as they used to be, and charges can often be expunged after five years if you only have one conviction.

Who Can Help with Expungement?

Benjamin David Porter is a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist with Morrow Porter Vermitsky & Taylor. He has been practicing law in North Carolina since 1995 and is experienced in expunging criminal charges and convictions. He is a graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Forsyth County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Forsyth County Bar Association.

To find out if you might qualify for expungement in North Carolina, contact Ben at 336.760.1400 for an initial consultation. He can evaluate your specific situation and, if you’re eligible, explain how to move forward.