Can a North Carolina DWI Conviction be Expunged?

Until recently the answer has always been NO but a new law on the books changes this for DWI offenders. A DWI always stays on your driving record and criminal history report. It can make it difficult, if not impossible, to find a job involving driving or use of heavy machinery. It is almost certain a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL will not be granted with a DWI conviction on your record. These companies, however, have good reason to turn away DWI offenders from employment, as this limits any type of civil liability due to an accident or injury on the job.  As a DWI attorney, I know all too well that DWI offenders often simply made a mistake and are not criminals or alcoholics. DWIs are very common these days, especially with the legal limit so low.  Until now, there was nothing for people with DWI convictions to do, it was a permanent scar.  Thankfully North Carolina passed a law allowing DWI convictions to be expunged for those who meet very narrow criteria.

For those unaware of what an expungement is or what it does… it basically erases or seals all records from the case. There are many records located in the courthouse, the police department, the District Attorney’s Officer, the State Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and Administrative Office of the Courts. So as you can imagine, there is an immense amount of paperwork which must be filed to process an expungement. The good news is after an expungement is granted from a District Court Judge, all records from the case will be sealed and/or destroyed. In addition (after the expungement is granted) if anyone asks you whether or not you have been found guilty of a crime, arrested, or given a citation for a crime, you can truthfully answer no without fear of committing perjury.

The new bill became effective December 1st 2012. It essentially outlines the requirements to have a DWI expunged, as well as certain nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies. The most essential requirement is the case must be (1) greater than 15 years old and (2) the individual applying for the expungement must have a clean criminal record (traffic tickets or speeding tickets do not count). There are also two affidavits which must be filed by other people, who can attest to the applicants character and moral fitness. These individuals cannot be related to applicant by blood or marriage. Finally, the applicant must receive consent from the District Attorney’s office in the jurisdiction of the conviction.

If it has been more than 15 years since your DWI conviction, call our Cary office now so we can start the paper work needed to process the expungement petition. We will start preparing affidavits and obtaining criminal record checks. Don’t let an old DWI conviction define who you are on job applications and employers, call us at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation today.  The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC is located in Wake County North Carolina and handles DWI cases and misdemeanors in Raleigh, NC.


Who Qualifies?

1. Those DWI Convictions over 15years old.

2. Plus yhose with nothing but a DWI on their criminal record (speeding tickets and traffic offeneses don't count).



Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.