Many people who have been convicted of non-violent crimes, done their time and showed that they can stay out of trouble with the law will soon have an easier and shorter path to getting their criminal record cleared from public view.
Gov. Roy Cooper signed a law on Friday that standardizes the process for some people to have their criminal records “expunged.” Expungement means that the record of an arrest or criminal conviction essentially disappears from public view. It makes it easier for people applying for jobs, rental housing or applying to college or grad school.
“Criminal justice shouldn’t end at incarceration. It should end at restoration,” Cooper said. “We want North Carolinians who have corrected their mistakes to go on to live purposeful, productive lives.”
The new law takes effect on Dec. 1st 2017. It reduces the waiting time for expungement for a first-time non-violent felony to 10 years from 15. It lessens the wait to five years for a nonviolent misdemeanor and eliminates a restriction on someone obtaining multiple expungements if prior charges were dismissed or the person was found not guilty in court.