Expungement in North Carolina
North Carolina law allows for the expungement of certain records. Expunction is the legal removal of arrest and conviction records. When a record is expunged, it appears as if the crime was never committed and the arrest was never made. Minors charged with misdemeanors for the first time have the option of having their records expunged if the crime was committed while they were under the age of eighteen. If all requirements are met, other adult misdemeanors can be expunged. Certain minor gang offenses, as well as certain drug offenses committed while under the age of twenty-one, are also eligible. This includes toxic vapor offenses as well as conditional discharge of those under the age of eighteen and those charged with similar adult offenses.
Minors who have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in a federal court in North Carolina or another state and have not previously been convicted of a felony may petition the court for record expungement. Except for minor traffic violations, this misdemeanor must have been committed while the individual was under the age of eighteen, and no other misdemeanor offenses may follow. Minors are also eligible for record expungement if they are convicted of a misdemeanor possession of alcohol before the age of twenty-one. According to North Carolina law, an individual may petition for expungement two years after the date of conviction. All aspects of probation must be completed.
Petition for Expungement in North Carolina
A petition for expungement must include the following: a petitioner affidavit for good behavior during the two years since the misdemeanor was convicted; two affidavits of non-relatives stating the nature of the individual’s character; a statement claiming the petition is for a specific conviction; affidavits from the chief of police, the clerk of the superior court, and the county sheriff of the county where the individual was convicted The district attorney of the convicting court will be served with all completed petitions. After ten days, the file will be processed and a court date will be scheduled. After the petition is presented to the judge, additional investigations may be conducted to verify the affidavits.
If the individual has not been convicted of a subsequent misdemeanor or felony and has been found to have had good behavior for the two-year period, the petition for expungement can be granted by the determining judge during the hearing. To do so, the judge must also find that the individual was under the age of eighteen at the time of the offense and conviction. If the judge believes that granting the petition would be detrimental to the court, he or she has the authority to deny the expungement. Once the petition is granted, the individual will be legally able to state in a court of law that the incident never occurred and will be immune from prosecution for perjury.