Our attorneys answer this question for clients who have been arrested and/or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in North Carolina. Having an arrest or conviction on your record can make it difficult and sometimes impossible to find a job, rent an apartment or even continue your education beyond high school. One mistake should not keep you from living the rest of your life as you desire. To get answers to expungement questions about your criminal case, contact the expungement attorneys at Welch and Avery for a free consultation.
Why do You Want Your North Carolina Criminal Case Expunged?
Having a criminal record can be challenging. Criminal records are easy to locate and they are used by employers, schools, landlords, potential customers, colleges, insurers and other companies to evaluate applicants and candidates. Even if your criminal case was dismissed, the arrest remains on your criminal record. Traditionally North Carolina law has allowed individuals to petition to have a case in which they were not convicted of a crime (meaning the charges were dismissed or they were acquitted at trial) expunged from their record. Additionally North Carolina law now allows persons who were convicted of certain types of crimes, even felonies, to have the conviction expunged as well.
When your criminal record is expunged, it will be as if your arrest and/or conviction never happened. Your record will be clean. You will generally no longer be required to answer “yes” to questions related to prior arrests or convictions. You are not required to acknowledge that you were arrested and/or convicted but the case was expunged. You can simply state “no” to those types of questions once your case has been legally expunged.
What Types of Cases are Eligible for Expungement?
You can essentially group expungements into one of two categories: cases where the person was convicted of something, and cases where the person was acquitted or the charges were dropped.
If you are seeking to expunge a conviction in North Carolina, the eligibility requirements are a bit more strict. First, the conviction must be for a non-violent crime. This means the crime cannot involve any type of assault, and cannot be a Class G or higher felony or a Class A1 misdemeanor. Second, at least 15 years must have passed since the end of any period of probation or incarceration. Finally you cannot have been convicted of any other crimes. While these limitations seem fairly strict, they do allow people to have the record of many types of convictions wiped from their background, including:
- Misdemeanor and some felony drug convictions
- Driving While Impaired
- Larceny or Possession of Stolen Property
If the case against you was dropped or you were found to be Not Guilty at trial, you may also qualify to have that charge expunged from your record. Many people are upset to learn that the fact of their arrest is still being held against them even when they were never found guilty of a crime. Expunction can fix that problem. The only significant limitation for expunction of this type of record is that you cannot have had a previous expungement granted. Essentially this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Besides these two basic categories of expunction, there are some particular provisions that apply to a handful of specific types of offenses such as drug offenses or prostitution, and there are also additional laws to allow expunction of crimes committed by teenagers.
If you have been convicted of a crime or you were arrested and the case was dismissed, contact our office for a free consultation to determine if your criminal case is eligible for expungement. Each case is different and North Carolina criminal laws are complex and can be complicated to understand.
Our expungement attorneys have extensive experienced in this area of law; however, we can only determine if your case is eligible for expungement after we have performed a thorough review of the specific details of your criminal case. We understand how frustrating it can be dealing with a criminal record and we want to help you remove your criminal conviction or arrest record so that you can get on with your life without the continued consequences of one regretful decision.
Contact an Experienced Jacksonville Expungement Attorney
“Attorneys Who Aggressively Protect Your Rights”
Welch and Avery, LLP is a full service Jacksonville Criminal and Civil law firm that is committed to providing results-driven legal representation to businesses and individuals seeking an alternative to large-firm representation. We focus on getting you the results you want while offering you a cost-effective solution to your legal needs. We understand that we work for our clients; therefore; our attorneys communicate regularly with each client to ensure that the client knows what is going on with the case.
When you have legal problems, you need an experienced legal professional in your corner. No matter the case, you should have an attorney working for you who knows the law and who has the experience to get results. We represent clients throughout Duplin County, Onslow County and the surrounding communities. Call our office at (910) 347-0161 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.
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