How does it work to get a conviction expunged?
A new law on the books in North Carolina that could allow you to have a felony or misdemeanor conviction expunged if it fits specific statutory criteria.
1) The conviction must be a misdemeanor or level H-I felony and does not:
- Involve any type of assault
- Require registering as a sex offender
- Involve possession of methamphetamines or heroin, or the sale and delivery of cocaine
- Involve a hate crime
- Involve the use of a commercial motor vehicle
2) You cannot have any convictions other than traffic citations.
3) You have to wait 15 years from the last date of the active sentence or probation OR from the date of conviction (if the punishment did not involve probation or jail time).
[Note that a new law working its way through the legislature over the summer of 2015 may change that waiting time to 5 years for a misdemeanor conviction and 10 years for a low level felony conviction. If this bill passes it would go into effect in December of 2015.]
The 6 steps to getting a conviction expunged in Raleigh, North Carolina
If you fit the criteria above, to get the conviction expunged you must:
1) Get the following affidavits and have them notarized:
An affidavit from the petitioner stating that they have been of good moral character since the conviction and that they have not had any other convictions other that traffic citations.
Verified affidavits from 2 people not related to you or each other that they know the character and reputation of the petitioner in the community where he/she lives and that the petitioner’s character and reputation are good.
A statement that the petition is a motion in the cause in the case wherein the petitioner was convicted.
An affidavit by the petitioner that no restitution orders or civil judgments against the petitioner is outstanding.
2) Fill out a proper expungement petition for the courts. You need to know the date of offense, date of disposition, case number, name of arresting agency and specific details about all charges.
3) Serve the district attorney for the county where the charge occurred.
To serve the district attorney, you have to properly give them a copy of all of the affidavits and the final expungement petition. An assistant district attorney will sign off on your original form that the D.A.’s Office has been served.
4) File the expungement petition with the clerk of courts.
The cost to file this expunction is $175.00, which must be paid to the clerk of court at the time of filing. Your particular county may require a certified copy of your criminal record as part of your petition but all counties vary.
5) Court Hearing (maybe but not likely)
Each county will have a different procedure, a hearing for this type of petition is authorized but the county may waive the hearing. So far, Wake County has waived all of the hearings that The law Offices of Wiley Nickel has submitted for this type of expunction.
6) Wait for the Process to Play Out
This is a long slow process. If we could speed up the process we certainly would do so but the timing is out of our hands once a petition is filed. Your petition will be reviewed by a judge then sent to the SBI in Raleigh to conduct a thorough background check to determine if you qualify for the expunction. Then the petition goes back to the original court to have a hearing (or not). Once that is complete, the SBI is notified to send notices to the agencies listed on the petition to erase the formal record. Do not expect this process to take less than six to nine months. We spend a good amount of time checking on the petitions throughout this process as they can often be lost or delayed at various stops in the process by court clerks or other governmental agencies.
The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC handles expungement petitions for the entire state of North Carolina. Please contact our expungement lawyers at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation to determine if you are eligible for an expungement.