Expunction – Erasing prior charges or convictions

            When was the last time you thought how nice it would be to erase something in your past?  If you’re like most people, there are a few things that you wish were not part of your history.  Under North Carolina law, you can erase some of those “mistakes,” whether ones made by you or by law enforcement officers.

            If you have ever been charged with a crime, even if you were found innocent or the charge was dismissed, you have a criminal record.  Further, to be truthful, you have to answer in the affirmative were anyone to ask whether you have ever been charged with a crime.  Increasingly, potential employers and educational institutions do ask.  In many cases, however, you can have your criminal record cleaned up and, perhaps, even erased through a legal process called expunction.

            Whether a felony or misdemeanor, if the charge against you was dismissed or you were found innocent, we can file a motion on your behalf with the court to have the charge erased from your record.  While there are legal fees for doing so, the state does not add any additional charge for the expunction.  The process takes some time, but, according to the law, you will be able to answer honestly that you have never been charged with the crime once it is expunged.

If you are seeking to expunge charges that resulted in guilty verdicts or pleas, not all crimes are created equal.  Only certain offenses can be expunged if that is the case.  These include any misdemeanor if committed under the age of eighteen, possession of alcohol if committed while under the age of twenty-one, first offenses for misdemeanor drug or paraphernalia possession regardless of age, felony possession of less than a gram of cocaine, and misdemeanor larceny regardless of age.  An offense of these types usually can be expunged if at least two years have passed and you avoided additional convictions, however misdemeanor larceny cannot be expunged until fifteen years after the conviction.

Unlike expunction of charges that result in dismissals or findings of innocence, there is a fee that must be paid to the state to have guilty verdicts expunged.  However, once again, by law you will be able to deny that you were ever charged with or found guilty of the crime that is expunged.

Let us help you clean up your criminal record.  Whether you were wrongfully charged or made a bad decision, we can turn back the clock and change history – at least what’s recorded.

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