ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GETTING A NORTH CAROLINA CRIME EXPUNGED? CALL US TODAY.
Most people don’t realize how much a criminal record check may affect them. If you have recently applied for a new job, applied for college, or filled out an application to lease an apartment, there is a great possibility that a criminal background check was performed while that application was being considered. Although you would expect that certain criminal convictions may seriously hinder your application, you probably don’t realize that even cases that were dismissed or where you were found not guilty may still be a part of your criminal record.
WAS YOUR CASE DISMISSED? WERE YOU FOUND “NOT GUILTY”?
Most people are under the mistaken perception that if a case is dismissed or if there is a finding of “not guilty”, the charge will automatically be removed from their criminal record. Unfortunately, the dismissal or acquittal will still remain a part of your criminal record unless you have the case expunged. Sometimes, the simple fact that someone was charged may be almost as damaging as a conviction, regardless of the favorable outcome. Under N.C.G.S. 15A-146, a person is eligible for an expunction for a charge that was either dismissed or where there was ultimate finding of “not guilty”. You are entitled to one record expunction during your lifetime under this section, however you may be eligible to have multiple offenses expunged if they occurred within the same 12-month period of time.
WERE YOU CONVICTED? YOU STILL MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR AN EXPUNCTION
In some situations, you may be eligible to obtain an expunction where a criminal conviction has occurred, however your eligibility will be limited by a number of factors. Under N.C.G.S. 15A-145,certain misdemeanors may be eligible to be expunged depending on your age at the time of the offense. Under N.C.G.S.15A-145.4, you may be eligible for certain “nonviolent” felonies if you were under the age of 18 at the time the felony was committed. Under N.C.G.S. 15A-145.5, you may still be eligible for an expunction if you have committed certain “nonviolent” felonies and misdemeanors regardless of your age at the time of the offense, although there is a 15-year waiting period that must be satisfied. Under each of the previously mentioned examples, there are affidavits that must be filed on your behalf as well as other requirements that must be met. In addition, your criminal record following the initial conviction will also play an important role. However, the great news is that over the last several years, expunction laws in North Carolina have become a little more flexible, and hopefully that trend will continue.
CALL A WINSTON-SALEM CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNCTION ATTORNEY
So what is the next step? Call our office and speak to an experienced North Carolina criminal defense lawyer with experience in criminal record expunctions to see if you qualify under North Carolina law for a criminal expunction. As you now know, along with charges that have been dismissed or where an individual was found not guilty, there are some other instances where a person may still be eligible for an expunction even where the charge resulted in a conviction.