Criminal records can hinder a person's chances of success, by limiting potential employers, prohibiting one from receiving government aid and other important resources. Fortunately, North Carolina has legislation specifically dedicated to expungement - the complete destruction of a criminal record - that will help residents of Mecklenburg County to move on with their lives after a prior conviction. However, residents must first meet a number of requirements before an expungement is granted.
According to North Carolina law (N.C.G.S. § 15A-145.5), people of Mecklenburg County who have committed either a misdemeanor or a level H or I felony may be able to file for expungement of that conviction if they meet a number of statutory requirements.
A person who has committed any of the following offenses may not be eligible to receive an expungement:
- Hate crimes
- Crimes that involve the sale or distribution of cocaine or the possession of unlawful drugs and substances such as methamphetamines and heroin
- Crimes that involve any form of assault (sexual assault, domestic violence, aggravated assault, child abuse etc.)
- Crimes that involve the operation of a commercial motor vehicle
- Crimes that require an offender to have their name placed on the state sexual offender registry
It's important to note that applicants who seek to expunge a conviction are required to wait a minimum of 15 years from the date of conviction, or date of completion of all sentencing requirements, whichever occurs later.
Initiating Expungement in Mecklenburg County
Expungement Forms and Affidavits
The first step of expunging a criminal conviction consists of drafting the expungement forms and required affidavits. The expungement forms should contain the relevant information regarding the conviction including the case file number, the date of the arrest, the date of conviction, the date of disposition, etc.
The first affidavit must state that the petitioner has not had other run-ins with law enforcement that transpired after the date of the conviction they wish to expunge. Then two other affidavits must be from people who are not related to the petitioner by either blood or by marriage. They should state they are familiar with the petitioner and certify that he or she is of good character.
When all of these forms are completed, they are filed in the office of the Wake County Clerk of Court, along with the filing fee of $175.
Once the petition is filed, it will be signed by a judge and sent to the Administrative Office of the Courts and the State Bureau of Investigation. Both agencies will review the petition to determine whether the petitioner has received a prior expungement and whether the petitioner has any other criminal convictions. The petition will be returned to the Wake County Clerk of Court and a hearing will be scheduled and held to determine if the petition for expungement will be granted. In the event that a petition is granted by the court, a judge will then order all records of the conviction to be destroyed.
Experienced Expungement Attorney
If you are in Mecklenburg County and wish to expunge a conviction, you should consult with our attorneys at Caulder & Valentine. The help of one of our legal professionals will ensure that your petition is filed correctly the first time, and you won't experience delays.