A criminal record can have a drastic and long-lasting effect on a person's life. Wake County has recently launched an expungement program to aid those seeking ways to clear their criminal records by informing citizens of their eligibility and walking them through the legal process of obtaining an expungement. North Carolina state law details the process of expunging a record in Wake County.
Wake County Expungements
People who have a criminal record may experience barriers to employment, government aid, housing, loans and other important aspects in life. When a criminal record is expunged, or erased in the eyes of the law, a person can go about living life as they were before their criminal record existed. In order to be eligible for an expunction, individuals must meet a number of requirements.
According to North Carolina law (N.C.G.S. § 15A-145.5), records that fall under the following three categories are generally eligible to be successfully expunged:
- A first-time, nonviolent offense committed over 15 years ago
- A first-time offense committed when the plaintiff was under the age of 18 or 22
- A charge that was dismissed or verdict that was disposed as “not guilty”
Initiating the Process of Expungement
If a person meets the criteria for expungement, the next step would be to fill out and file a petition to the Wake County clerk's office at the Wake Justice Center. It is typically $175 to do so. At that point, the petition will be forwarded to state agencies for a thorough investigation and a hearing will be scheduled to dictate whether or not a record will be expunged. If the request is approved, a judge will order the courts and police agencies to eradicate the records concerning the particular case. State residents are only allowed to have one expungement in their entire lifetime for dismissed cases.
Experienced Expungement Attorney
The process of getting your record expunged is very time consuming and complicated. With the help of an experienced expungement attorney, the chances of your petition being processed accurately and efficiently are exponentially increased. Contact Caulder Valentine today for a consultation and a shot at getting a conviction off of your record.