Felony expungement is possible in North Carolina – but not everyone is eligible. So how can you tell if you're eligible for felony expungement, and what can you do if you are?
Let's Talk About Felony Expungement in North Carolina
In the state of North Carolina, some felonies – including felony convictions – are eligible for expungement. And thanks to a relatively new expungement law, you can petition the court for an expungement sooner than you could under the old law.
Felony Expungement: What You Need to Know
You can have felonies expunged if your case was dismissed or if you were found not guilty in court. However, if your felony charge resulted in a conviction, your eligibility depends on how old you were at the time you committed the crime and the charge you received.
Eligibility for Felony Expungement
In order to be eligible for felony expungement, the crime you committed has to be eligible before the courts will even consider your petition. Generally speaking, felony convictions that involve violence as a main element of the crime are not eligible for expungement; neither are those that require you to register as a sex offender. Class A through Class G felonies are not eligible, and neither are drunk driving convictions. If you have a conviction that isn't eligible for expungement, you can still petition the governor for a pardon. However, a pardon isn't that easy to get – and statistically, the odds are against you.
If the felony you committed is eligible for expungement, you still have to meet these conditions:
Only people who are over the age of 18 can file a request for criminal record expungement. You must also meet these conditions:
- You must have made it through the required waiting period for the record you want to expunge
- You must have paid all your court-ordered costs, and you must be able to prove that you did – including court costs, fees, fines and restitution
- You must not be on parole or probation with any court, anywhere
- You must not have a warrant for your arrest or a criminal summons
- You must not have any open criminal cases
- You must not have any pending criminal charges
How to Get Felony Expungement if You Qualify
If you've met all the conditions necessary to qualify for felony expungement, you may want to talk to an expungement attorney. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and double-check that you're eligible before he starts any paperwork.
Your attorney will ask you for information on all your cases. He'll also need a lot of other information to fill out your petition, such as your Social Security number and other identifying info. One thing many people aren't aware that they need are affidavits – letters explaining why the person applying for expungement actually deserves it.
A Word on Affidavits
The law says that you have to provide an affidavit stating that you're of good moral character and that you've stayed out of trouble. It should also state why you feel you deserve a clean slate. You'll need to provide two similar affidavits from people who aren't related to you, as well.
After Your Petition is Complete
Once your petition is complete and you have provided your attorney with the necessary affidavits, your lawyer will make sure the paperwork is filed in the county that has your records. From there, your paperwork starts its journey, which can take between 6 months and a year. Here's how the North Carolina expungement process works:
- You file the paperwork and pay the appropriate fees (you generally don't have to pay fees if you've been the victim of identity theft, and the identity theft resulted in the record you're trying to expunge)
- You submit to record checks that show whether you have previous expungements or any other cases
- Your lawyer serves the district attorney with your petition, because he or she gets a chance to object
- Your case goes before a judge, who makes a final decision
- If your petition is granted, the clerk of court takes the appropriate actions to clear your record
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Felony Expungement?
If you need to talk to an attorney about felony expungement, we may be able to help you. Call us at 704-470-2440 for a free case review today. We'll ask you questions about your record to determine whether you're eligible, and if you are, we'll start the felony expungement process on your behalf as soon as possible.