A criminal incident that goes on your record could haunt you for years to come. However, North Carolina offers residents relief through the expunction process, which can prevent others from learning about arrests and even some convictions. Often referred to as expungement, North Carolina has several different statutes that address the sealing of criminal records, so understanding if you’re eligible for this type of relief can be a challenge. Carolina Law Group in New Bern, headed by Tommy Kellis, can review the facts in your case and advise if you qualify for the expunction process. If so, we will prepare the necessary documents to support your request so you can go forward without worrying about the effects of a past mistake.
Employers commonly look up the arrest and conviction history of job applicants. This is especially true in the security and childcare industries. Experience as a defendant in the criminal justice system might also prevent you from getting a position where you are entrusted with significant assets or confidential information. Many government-funded housing programs and other services also require background checks. Regardless of the situation, you deserve to be judged on your merits, not a mistake from your past. Our accomplished North Carolina criminal defense lawyers will work diligently to obtain an expunction for you if you are eligible for one under state law.
You might not realize that arrests and indictments can be listed on your criminal record even if you were found not guilty or the prosecutor dropped the charges before going to trial. Regardless of the particular allegation, expunction is allowed in all cases where there was no conviction. You might also be able to expunge convictions for nonviolent misdemeanors and certain low-level felonies, such as:
Not every conviction for these offenses is subject to expunction. Waiting periods exist before certain records can be sealed and individuals who have been convicted of multiple crimes can be excluded from this type of relief. You must wait at least five years to seek expungement of a misdemeanor conviction and 10 years if you’re looking to remove an eligible felony from public view. Should the necessary requirements be met, our firm will file the petition for expunction with the clearance of the relevant county court.
Upon expunction, parties outside of the justice system will not be able to see the record when performing a background check on you. You should remember that expunction does not completely erase the incident from official records. If you are subsequently tried for another criminal charge, the expunged case would still qualify as a prior offense for sentencing purposes.
The Carolina Law Group in New Bern, led by Tommy Kellis, assists North Carolina residents who are seeking to have a criminal record expunged. Our firm serves clients across throughout Craven County and nearby areas. Please call us at 252-636-3737 or contact us online for a consultation.