Seeking a North Carolina Expungement / Expunction?

Don't let an old criminal charge get between you and a dream job!

If your case was dismissed, you can protect your good name / reputation and rebuild your life through the North Carolina expungement process (also known as an "expunction"). Even though your case may have been dismissed, many people will think that where there's smoke there's fire and hold your past accusations against you. After the expungement is granted, employers, neighbors, customers, insurers, landlords looking into your background will find no official record of the charges that were expunged.

An expungement seals only the official records kept by government agencies. Private websites may continue to publish their information and may not comply with the court's Expunction Order. If that occurs, there are civil remedies that can be pursued against these private websites.

If you are are interested in an expungement please contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation.  We handle North Carolina expungements throughout most of the state.  You can reach us at 919-585-1486 to talk with a North Carolina Expungement Lawyer.

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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.

Huge Changes for North Carolina Expungement Law!  Second Chance Bill Passes!  Ratified by Governor Cooper.

In a rare show of bi-partisan unity the North Carolina Senate passed Senate Bill 445 by a vote of 47-2 and the House passed it by a vote of 103-2.  The law will dramatically improve state law surrounding the clean-up and expungement of North Carolina criminal records. For many North Carolinians this will be a very important second chance and will allow many to move past that one non-violent crime/mistake and rejoin the work force.

This bill will provide a meaningful second chance to many first time offenders in North Carolina who now find it difficult to seek employment or gain admission to colleges and universities because of one mistake that they might have made as a youthful offender and for which they have paid their debts to society.

Before SB 445 a person could likely only be granted one expungement in their lifetime. This bill would allow a person to obtain more than one expungement if the charge was dismissed or resulted in a verdict of not guilty. The bill would also reduce the time a first time offender of a non-violent misdemeanor has to wait before seeking an expungement after a conviction from 15 years to 5 years. The bill would reduce the waiting time for a person convicted of a first-time nonviolent felony from 15 years to 10 years. If a first-time convicted offender was later charged and convicted of another crime then a North Carolina District Attorney would be able to take the charge for which they received an expungement under consideration in sentencing that individual for the second offense.

Specific changes include:

  • Reduces the wait time for expungement of a first-time nonviolent felony from 15 years to 10 years.
  • Reduces the wait time for expungement of a first-time nonviolent misdemeanor from 15 years to 5 years.
  • Provides for expungement of all dismissed and “not guilty” charges if the person has not been convicted of a felony.  It used to be just once in a lifetime.  Now there's no limit.
  • Provides North Carolina prosecutors with electronic access to records expunged on or after December 1, 2017.
  • Treats a conviction expunged on or after December 1, 2017 as a prior record if the person re-offends.

This is important legislation will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of North Carolinians who have paid their debts to society and turned their lives around. It also allows many who were wrongfully accused of crimes in the first place to clear their name.  As an example if you had a drinking ticket dismissed in college and then were charged with a totally bogus assault charge that was immediately dismissed you can now go back and get the bogus assault charge erased through the expungement process on December 1, 2017.  This will mean a job for many people who are just trying to get past one stupid mistake or who have had more than one dismissed case or not guilty verdict.  It will also generate a lot of revenue for North Carolina because of all of the new expungement petitions that will be filed this year.

This bill will go into effect on December 1, 2017.  This is a major new change for North Carolina Expungement Law. If you want to know if you qualify for a North Carolina expungement contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation.  You can reach us at 919-585-1486 to discuss your eligibility for an expungement.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and we handle expungements throughout the state of North Carolina.  You can also contact expungement lawyer Wiley Nickel directly at wiley@wileynickel.com to discuss an expunction.

North Carolina Expungement Law Change Senate Bill 445
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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.

How Many Expungements Can You Get in North Carolina?

How To Get Your Criminal Record Expunged: Can You Get Multiple Expungements in North Carolina?

You can get as many expungements as the law allows.  Some types expungements bar you from getting certain other types of expungement in the future and for other situations there could be multiple expungements allowed.  It’s all very fact specific.

Certain Convictions under 18 and Certain Drinking Tickets under 21

Many can get an NC expungement of a misdemeanor conviction for an offense committed before the age 18 plus certain drinking tickets before age 21.  That expungement statute does not list a prior expungement as a bar to getting one.

Dismissal/Not Guilty Expungements

In many cases you can’t get a dismissal expungement if you’ve had certain other types of expungements.  If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your record and want to get an expungement for a dismissed case that conviction likely does not bar you from a dismissal expungement.  For many clients the order of using their expungements is very important and if there are multiple things going on you could limit the possibilities for expungements if you do them in the wring order.

15 Year Wait Expungements

For many clients their public records can be erased through the expungement process for one misdemeanor or low level felony after 15 years have passed (assuming it’s the only criminal conviction on their record).  In that situation most other prior expungements could block them from the 15 year wait kind of expungement.  An expunction of a dismissal is the one type of expungement that is not listed as a bar to getting the 15 year type.

What Next?

A prior expungement generally makes it difficult for a person to get an expungement more than once. However there is not a rule that allows only one expungement for all scenarios. The terms of each statute control whether a person can obtain another expungement. North Carolina law creates a narrow path to additional expungements in many situations.  All cases are different.  If you have questions about getting a second expungement contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our NC Expungements Lawyers will answer your questions and let you know if we can expunge criminal records for you.

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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.

Will My Case be on My Criminal Record in Wake County, North Carolina?

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Wake County, North Carolina your number one concern may be whether or not you have to serve any time in jail or prison. A conviction itself, however, whether or not you are sentenced to any time in jail or prison, can come with a variety of unpleasant consequences. One of these consequences you may be concerned with is whether or not your case will become a part of your criminal record in Wake County, North Carolina. 

Even if your case is dismissed or dropped today (or perhaps a not guilty verdict) thanks to a great criminal defense lawyer the record of your dismissed arrest or citation will be on your record forever unless it is expunged.  As an example: If you are charged with assault in Wake County and the victim does not show up (or changes his story) and your case is dismissed there will be a record visible to anyone that shows you were charged with Assault and the case was dismissed.  Any employer will certainly have serious questions about your prospective employment if they see that you were charged with assault.

A criminal conviction can negatively impact your ability to become approved for loans, apply for housing, or get the job you want. In North Carolina, you may be able eligible to have your criminal record expunged. In order to get your record expunged you will need to provide certain information about your criminal case to your attorney who will handle the expungement petition for you.

If your conviction is successfully expunged you may be able to answer “no” in many situations when asked if you have ever been convicted of a criminal offense.

Contact the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel today at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation to discuss an expungement of your criminal record.  Our office is located in Cary, North Carolina.  You can also speak with an expungement lawyer by e-mailing Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com any time.

Expungement Attorney Wiley Nickel helps people throughout Wake County, North Carolina and handles criminal and traffic offenses arising out of the following cities: Morrisville, New Hope, Apex, Knightdale, Raleigh, Rolesville, Holly Springs, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner, Wendell, Fuquay-Varina and Zebulon.

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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.

Low Levels Crimes in North Carolina Decriminalized! Change is effective for crimes committed after December 1, 2013.

North Carolina Decriminalizes Low Level Misdemeanors including Marijuana Possession, Driving While License Revoked & Worthless Check charges.

Jail time is now off the table for many low level misdemeanors and a $200 fine is the only punishment available in many cases.  For example a charge of marijuana possession for someone with up to three prior criminal convictions is now punishable by only a fine.

Marijuana Possession Punishment is now just a $200 fine for many!

Effective for all offenses committed on or after December 1, 2013, the General Assembly of North Carolina will “decriminalize” all class three misdemeanors for offenders with no more than three prior criminal convictions.  The new law provides that (unless otherwise noted) the maximum punishment for a person who is convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and who has no more than three prior convictions, shall be a $200 fine.

An attempt by North Carolina to save $$$$ 

This is an attempt to save the state money in court operating costs, payments to court-appointed lawyers, costs to place an offender on probation, and costs to house inmates in local jail facilities.  The goal in enacting this legislation is presumably to keep low-level crimes and low-recidivist criminals out of the jail where local counties generally bear the financial burden of housing them, and order that these convicted offenders pay a fine.  Also, the goal is to not have to pay for the offender’s court appointed counsel, which becomes a state burden.  Court appointed attorneys are mandated if a defendant cannot afford their own attorney and if it is possible that the defendant will face a jail sentence.  This law negates the need for a court appointed attorney for some offenders whom are charged with a class three misdemeanor.

What Crimes Are Included?

Class 3 Misdemeanors are the lowest level of misdemeanors, and, until this new law, were punishable by up to 20 days in jail, and a fine of $200.00.  Typical Class 3 misdemeanors are second degree trespass or possession of less than ½ oz of marijuana.  These are crimes for which judges typically would not punish with jail time, but judges often do place offenders on probation upon conviction for these types of crimes.  Probation costs money to operate as well, and probation officers are often overwhelmed with a caseload full of much more serious offenders to worry about.  If an offender violates probation he or she may be punished with jail time.

How does it work?

Starting soon for cases committed after December 1, 2013 when a defendant goes to a North Carolina court for his first appearance and asks for a court appointed attorney (assuming  a class 3 misdemeanor) the Court will have to make a determination of that defendant’s prior record before knowing if he or she is eligible for a court appointed lawyer. 

Paying a $200 fine can haunt you for the rest of your life!

The problem with this change in the law is that a conviction for a class three misdemeanor can mean more than simply the $200 fine.  Any conviction will stay on your criminal record for a lifetime unless it is expunged and most people will not qualify for an expungement.  A criminal conviction on your record (even for just a class three misdemeanor) can have very serious consequences including loss of employment opportunities, loss of educational opportunities, loss of other benefits and rights.  I’ve had countless people who have called my office because a prior criminal conviction is keeping them from getting a good job.  These effects are life-long effects and can do serious damage to someone’s earning capacity.

Call Raleigh Criminal Defense Lawyer Wiley Nickel for a Free Consultation

If you find yourself charged with a class three misdemeanor in North Carolina, such as second degree trespass, DWLR, worthless check or possession of less than ½ oz of marijuana, you should still seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer.  Simply pleading guilty and paying a $200 fine can and will have serious effects on you in the years ahead  The effect on your criminal record, potential for work or school, and other considerations, are important to understand. Most importantly, if you are already on probation or have other pending criminal matters you should always consult with an attorney before entering any plea in court.  A $200 fine may feel like just a slap on the wrist today, but the consequences of a conviction will affect you for the rest of your life.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel can help!

If you are charged with any crime, please call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC today for a free consultation at 919-585-1486.  We handle criminal cases in Wake County North Carolina and are located in Cary, NC.

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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.

New changes to NC Gen. Stat. 90-96 help first time offenders in North Carolina

The Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) (S.L. 2011-192) has made several changes to areas of criminal law. Most notably for criminal law, the changes allow me to help first time offenders under North Carolina General Statute 90-96, which allows for a conditional discharge for certain drug offenders. As of January 1, 2012, the new statute allows a convicted defendant to consent to being placed on probation without the court actually entering judgment.  If the person fulfills the terms and conditions of the probation, the statute reads that the court shall dismiss the charges against the defendant. If however, the person violates a term or condition of the probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and sentence the defendant. Successful defendants may apply for an expunction of the dismissed charge which is one of the services we offer for clients who enter the first offender’s program.

The defendants that are eligible for the conditional discharge are those who have a clean criminal record and are charged with any misdemeanor or felony simple possession of controlled substances crime under G.S. 90-95(a)(3), regardless of the substance schedule or amount, and/ or possession of drug paraphernalia under G.S. 90-113.22. This is expansive, as the old statute would only allow a 90-96 to be used for defendants charged with possession of cocaine.  We have placed clients charged with larceny into this program among other crimes charged.  The program fee is $250 in addition to court costs around $188.  You are also required to complete 75 hours of community service in Wake County.  You are able to choose where you do the community service as well.

If you have any questions, or would like to see if a conditional discharge would be appropriate in your pending charges, please give us a call today at 919-585-1486 to speak with a Raleigh first offenders lawyer at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC.  Our office is centrally located in Cary and you can reach us by e-mail for a free consultation at wiley@wileynickel.com.

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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.

Expungement Article

A good explanation fo the new laws for exopungements from the News & Observer

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/06/26/1301676/more-getting-a-clean-slate.html

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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.

Not Eligible for an expungement? A certificate of relief might help!

Many people who seek to have records of their charges expunged do not fit into the narrow categories available to have their charges expunged.  If a criminal conviction is preventing you from gaining employment or hurting you in some other way a "certificate of relief" could be the thing to get you moving forward with your life.  Call to speak with an attorney at the law offices of Wiley Nickel at 919-585-486 for a free consultation to see if a certificate of relief can help where an expungement cannot help.

The basic requirements for relief, contained in new G.S. 15A-173.2 for a "certificate of relief" are as follows:

  1. The person must have been convicted of no more than two Class G, H, or I felonies or misdemeanors in one session of court and have no other convictions for a felony or misdemeanor other than a traffic violation.
  2. The person must petition the court in which the convictions occurred (District or Superior Court)
  3. The person must establish certain matters by a preponderance of the evidence, including that twelve months have passed since the person completed his or her sentence, that the person is engaged in or is seeking to engage in a lawful occupation or activity, and that the person has no criminal charges pending.

If granted, a certificate of relief applies to two types of collateral consequences: “collateral sanctions,” defined as a penalty, disability, or disqualification imposed by operation of law, such as a mandatory bar on obtaining a license for a particular occupation; and “disqualifications,” defined as a penalty that an agency, official, or court may impose based on the conviction, such as a discretionary bar on an occupational license. A certificate of relief relieves the person of all automatic “collateral sanctions” except for those listed in new G.S. 15A-173.3 (for example, sex offender registration requirements and firearm disqualifications); those imposed by the North Carolina Constitution or federal law (for example, the state constitutional ban on holding the office of sheriff if previously convicted of a felony and the federal bans on federally-assisted housing and food stamp benefits for certain convictions); and those specifically excluded in the certificate. A certificate of relief does not bar an entity from imposing a discretionary “disqualification” based on the conviction, but the entity may consider the certificate favorably in deciding whether to impose the disqualification. A certificate of relief also does not result in an expunction or pardon of the conviction; a person must use other mechanisms, if available for the conviction in question, to obtain those forms of relief.

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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.