If you're like many people who want a fresh start through expungement because you have a not guilty verdict on your criminal record, you'll hear about NCG 15A-146. That's the statute that governs the expunction of criminal records when someone is found not guilty of a crime. For most people, it makes sense to work with a North Carolina expunction attorney who can navigate the system and answer questions along the way – but in the meantime, here's what you need to know about NCGS 15A-146.
What is NCGS 15A-146?
NCGS 15A-146 allows expungement of findings of not guilty, whether it's from a felony or a misdemeanor charge. NCGS stands for North Carolina General Statutes, which encompass most of the laws in our state.
The same law allows expunction of dismissals and findings of not responsible for some infractions – it's kind-of a catch-all for arrests not resulting in convictions. It requires you to file a certain form with the state government.
Who's Eligible for Expungement Under NCGS 15A-146?
A person who has a dismissed charge on his or her record and who has never been convicted of a felony – neither here in North Carolina nor anywhere else – may be eligible for expungement under NCGS 15A-146. However, it's best to talk to an attorney to find out whether you're eligible. If you're not, you may have other options to clear your criminal record.
If you're petitioning for expungement, you can't have:
- Open criminal cases
- Warrants for your arrest
- Pending criminal charges
How to File for Expungement Under NCGS 15A-146
You may want to talk to an attorney about your options for criminal record expungement when you've been found not guilty of a crime. Working with a lawyer can help smooth out the process – and your attorney will be there to answer all your questions while preserving your rights every step of the way.
In order to clear your criminal record under NCGS 15A-146, your attorney will file a Petition and Order of Expunction with the court in the county that has your records. The petition to expunge your records needs to include all your identifying information, including your driver's license number, your date of birth and your full Social Security Number so that court officials can find you in the system. Your petition also needs to include your age at the time of the offense.
Your lawyer will also fill out information on the name and address of the arresting agency and any other agencies involved in the case. The petition also has to include the file numbers pertaining to your case, the date of the arrest and a description of the offense. The judge assigned to your case will also need to know the date the alleged offense took place, as well as the court disposition (in your case, it's “Not Guilty”) and the date of the disposition.
The petition has to go through several hands before you get a judge's decision. You'll be subject to criminal background checks to ensure you don't have any felonies in North Carolina or other states, and a copy of your petition has to go to the district attorney in the county where you were charged. The district attorney will have an option to object to your petition, but in many cases, people who are found not guilty and want to expunge their records don't have any issues.
Eventually, your petition will end up on a judge's desk. The judge will base his or her decision on the information included with your petition and the petition itself. If the judge agrees that you need your record expunged, he or she will notify the clerk of court in the county that has your records. You'll also receive a copy of your expungement order.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expungement Under NCGS 15A-146?
If you need to talk to a lawyer about expungement under NCGS 15A-146, we can help – we'll be glad to answer your questions and help determine whether you're eligible.
Call us at 704-470-2440 to talk with an expungement lawyer right now. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can get to work clearing your criminal record.