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Expungement Attorneys in Charlotte

How Do You Get Your Record Expunged in NC?

An expunction is a legal action used to remove or erase items from a person’s criminal record. There are several different types of expunctions in North Carolina, and while many of them only apply in special circumstances there are a few that apply to most everyone. The two most commonly seen expunctions are the expunction of a not guilty or dismissed charge, and the expunction of any non-violent conviction crime.

Most expunctions are procedurally handled very similarly. First, they are filed as a motion in the county and court the original charge came from (i.e. if the crime came from Mecklenburg County the expungement would need to be filed in Mecklenburg County). The defendant becomes the petitioner who files the motion and the court makes a decision on whether or not to grant the motion. After the petitioner files the expunction the court will send the information to the Administrative Office of the Court who will determine if the petitioner and the charge in question qualifies.

When you are charged with a criminal offense, it can negatively impact your future in many different ways. Many people do not realize that the steps they take after an arrest can affect their future job prospects, their ability to obtain a student loan, or even their ability to buy a house.

For example, many people who work with their attorneys to negotiate a dismissal of their criminal charges or achieve a finding of not guilty at trial do not realize what their criminal record will say later. If a person gets a voluntary dismissal or a finding of not guilty, the original criminal charge will always be on his or her record.

Expunction of "Not Guilty" or Charge Dismissed in NC

The first type of expunction is a charge that was resolved with a not guilty verdict or a charge that was dismissed. Thanks to a recent change in the law, when expunging these kinds of charges, there is no limit to how many different charges can be added to the petition, regardless of when they were disposed of. This allows a petitioner to clear their entire record of dismissals or not guilty verdicts. Finally, it is a requirement the petitioner has never been convicted of a felony. For this type of expunction, there are not any additional requirements, the petitioner needs only to file the motion in the appropriate court.

Expunction of a Guilty Conviction in NC

The other type of expunction is the expunction of a guilty conviction. Unlike the expunction of a dismissal, these are limited to those charges that were disposed of in a single session of the court. Furthermore, under the current statutory scheme, there is a limit of only one expunction of these kinds of charges per person. Another restriction that the law currently places on these kinds of expunctions is that if the petitioner has another conviction on their record, they are not eligible. Lastly, not all convictions can be expunged; only “non-violent” convictions qualify, and the charge cannot be one that involves impaired driving.

When trying to expunge a guilty conviction there are also additional steps that must be taken. First, the petitioner files a petition similar to the previously discussed expunctions, however, this kind of petition must include additional materials in order to be complete.

Expunging Your Criminal Record in North Carolina

When you erase your record, you erase all of it, including any photos on the sheriff’s public website. Certain government entities may still be able to locate your criminal record after expungement, but general record checks will appear clean. This means the background checks done by your employer or a school will usually not disclose alleged involvement in criminal activity.

At Jetton & Meredith, the goal of our Charlotte expungement attorneys is to help people learn from mistakes while also helping them minimize the consequences that could damage their futures.

If you have any questions about expunctions, the expunction process, or whether or not you qualify, please contact our office today to set up a consultation with one of our criminal law attorneys. It is now more important than ever to have a clean criminal record for employment and educational background checks.

Please contact Jetton & Meredith at (704) 931-5535 to schedule an appointment with one of our expungement lawyers in Charlotte and let us help you try to obtain a clean criminal record.*

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