What is a North Carolina Expungement?

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What is an Expungement in North Carolina?

A North Carolina criminal expungement is a legal process that petitions the Court to remove a criminal conviction or a criminal charge from a person’s record and to destroy the state’s records of the arrest, charge, and/or conviction. A person who has had an expunction granted generally cannot be found guilty of perjury if he or she denies that the arrest, charge, or conviction ever happened.

What is the difference between an “expunction” and “expungement”?

“Expunction” and “expungement” mean the same thing. North Carolina’s expunction statutes use both terms interchangeably.  People also talk about sealing a record and the effect is the same for North Carolina expungement purposes.  . If you are granted an expungement, a court order will be entered ordering law enforcement to erase or destroy your criminal record. Specifically, North Carolina’s law makes it clear that the purpose of an expungement is to clear your public record of any arrest, criminal charge, or criminal conviction.

Who is eligible for an expunction?

There are numerous expunction statutes in North Carolina. Some allow the expunction of only specific types of offenses, like drug possession. Other statutes allow expunction of a broader range of offenses but for a smaller group of people, like persons who were under 18 or 21 at the time of the offense. Still others depend on how the charge ended; for example, there are statutes that address expunction of convictions and statutes that address expunction of charges that were dismissed or for which the defendant was found not guilty.  The dismissal or “nut guilty” expungement petitions are far and away the most common type of expungement in North Carolina.  Many people are eligible for expungements for their dismissed cases and do not know it. Contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation with specific eligibility questions.

Who Qualifies for an Expungement in North Carolina?

While you now have an idea of what an expungement is and how it may benefit you, let’s look at who qualifies for an expungement. While people often think that having an arrest, criminal charge, or criminal conviction expunged is an absolute right, the truth is that criminal records eligible for expungement in North Carolina are more common for dismissals and less common for convictions. In fact, to be eligible for an expunction you must meet the requirements listed under the statute applicable to your scenario.

 

Common Terms:

Background check – a procedure now almost universally in place wherein employers, schools, and landlords check for criminal history for applicants. Since about 1990 almost all criminal convictions are available electronically and are very easily discovered in a background check.

Cleaning a Record – another term used interchangeably with expungement or clearing a record, meaning essentially the same thing.

Court Appearance – some counties require expungements to occur in open court where there is an appearance by the attorney and the prosecutor in front of the judge. In the vast majority of the cases we handle the client never needs to appear in court.

Court Order - the document showing that an expungement has been completed.  All of our clients receive official court documentation with a raised seal proving that the expungement has occurred.

Criminal Record – court and governmental databases maintain records of criminal offenses. These records are maintained pretty much indefinitely and until an expungement occurs, a record check will continue to return a criminal conviction for decades unless the charge is erased through the expungement process.  In addition to fines, probation, and jail time, a criminal record can often be a barrier to things such as gainful employment, affordable housing, professional licensing, voting rights, welfare benefits, student loans, jury duty, and immigration status.

Diversion - this is a procedure for first offenders in drug cases and other cases to have criminal proceedings suspended, be sent to a counseling or training program, and after a period of time having the case dismissed without conviction. This is an excellent program, but unfortunately the record of the charge is still public and must be expunged in order to remove it from the view of the public and potential employers.

Eligibility for Expungement – Not everyone is eligible for an expungement of their criminal record. The law is complex and we are happy to provide a free telephone consultation to determine your eligibility; on-line eligibility quizzes have inherent shortcomings.

Eligible for Expungement – when a person is able to petition the court for expungement of their criminal convictions and also public records of a dismissal or not guilty verdict

Expungement – a legal proceeding that allows a criminal conviction or dismissed criminal case to be set aside and all public records erased.

Felony - a serious crime punishable by up to life in prison, although probation is often granted for first offenders. Most low level felonies can be expunged for certain eligible offenders.

Expungement Filing Fee or Expungement Court Costs – this is the amount of money the court charges to process an expungement petition; it is usually $175 for both felony and misdemeanor cases.  Some type of expungements do not require an expungement filing fee/court costs and some individuals may be able to petition the courts to avoid their fees.

Fines and Fees-costs associated with a criminal conviction; fines are payable to the court or often to the probation department or other agencies for anger management classes, alcohol education programs, or the like.

Firearms Rights-a person convicted of a felony offense, or a certain number of enumerated misdemeanors in North Carolina, lose their right to possess a firearm. An expungement itself does not reinstate that right, however firearms rights can be reinstated by reduction of the felony to a misdemeanor in certain circumstances.

Governor's Pardon -a procedure where the governor of the state of North Carolina issues an official pardon for an individual convicted of a felony offense.

Infraction -a low level of criminal offense punishable only by a fine.

Legal Assistant – an individual that is not licensed to practice law but fills forms and does other tasks related to the practice of law at the supervision of an attorney.

Misdemeanor -a criminal offense punishable by up to 150 days in jail. Offenses such as larceny, drug possession and similar cases are misdemeanors. Most misdemeanors can be expunged.

On-line Record Check - dozens of Internet sites make available criminal record background checks. Our experience is that most of these sites are highly inaccurate and should not be relied upon. The most accurate way to check one's record is to contact the court directly or hire an attorney to provide a thorough background check.  Our law firm has access to all court records through the AOC and can provide accurate background checks as part of the expungement process.

Probation – a period of time following a criminal conviction were a person is still under the supervision of either the probation department, or the court. There is formal and informal probation, formal probation or supervised probation involves reporting to the probation department, informal probation or unsupervised probation has no reporting requirement.

Probation Violation – (commonly “PV”) when an individual fails to live up to their terms and conditions of probation, such as failure to pay a fine, complete a school, or complete community service.

Reduction - a procedure where a felony charge is reduced to a misdemeanor charge in North Carolina.  One may have been charged with a felony but only pled to a misdemeanor in court.  For many people it is important to get rid of the felony charge in the expungement process.

Sealing Arrest Records - if you are arrested and not charged, or the case was dismissed, you may be able to seal records of that arrest through the expungement process.

Sex Registration - persons convicted of certain offenses related to sexual conduct are required to register with the local police agency.

Class 3 Misdemeanors in North Carolina - You could be sentenced to 1 to 30 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. The maximum penalty would be 30 days in jail and a $200 fine.

Class 2 Misdemeanors in North Carolina - The sentence for a Class 2 misdemeanor is 1 to 60 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment, with the maximum penalty being 60 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Class 1 Misdemeanors in North Carolina- The sentencing range is 1 to 120 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. The maximum jail time you could face would be 120 days. There is no maximum fine that could be assessed. This is completely in the judge’s discretion.

Class A1 Misdemeanors in North Carolina - You could be sentenced to 1 to 150 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment, with a maximum jail sentence of 150 days. Like with a Class 1 misdemeanor, the judge would have complete discretion on the amount of the fine you could have to pay.

Active Punishment - Active punishment involves a jail sentence that you would serve in a local jail or other confinement facility.

Intermediate Punishment - You could face an intermediate punishment if the judge sentences you to supervised probation. Terms of your probation could include house arrest with electronic monitoring, drug treatment court, satellite based monitoring, and some small periods of time in a jail or other confinement facility.

Community Punishment - Community punishment does not include jail time. You would most likely face a fine, possible probation, or community service.

If you were charged or convicted of a crime in North Carolina contact North Carolina Expungement Lawyers Wiley Nickel & Melissa Botiglione at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation. Our office is located in Cary and we cover most of the entire state of North Carolina for expungements.

North Carolina Expungement Lawyer Explains the Process to Clear a Criminal Record

Are you eligible for a North Carolina Expungement?

Your case is over but your record remains visible for all to see! If your case was dismissed (or you have certain convictions), you can protect your reputation and rebuild your life through the process of Expunging your North Carolina criminal record (also called Expunction).  Even if your case was dismissed a record still remains that is visible to future employers, current employers, customers, landlords, colleges, insurers and anyone else who might do a check on your record.

If you worked with your attorney to negotiate a dismissal of your criminal charge or are found not guilty at trial your criminal arrest record will still remain.  Even if you get a voluntary dismissal the original criminal charge will always be on your record.  If your record is expunged then all searches of your record will show a clean criminal record and a clean public arrest record.

A new law change allows for certain misdemeanor convictions to be expunged after 5 years and certain felony convictions to be erased through the expungement process after 10 years have passed.

Call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation at 919-585-1486 to see if you are eligible for a North Carolina Expungement. Contact Expungement Lawyer Melissa Botiglione at our office in Cary today.

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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.

What is the Expungement Process in North Carolina?

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Step #1: Determining Eligibility

Are you eligible for an expungement? There are different rules for dismissed cases and convictions.  For dismissed cases there is now no limit on the amount of dismissed cases and not guilty cases you can get erased through the expungement process (as long as you don’t have a felony conviction or an active criminal case).  For convictions there are certain crimes that are not eligible for expungement and there are different rules for those under 18 at the time of offense, under 22 for certain crimes and then a 5/10 year wait for felony charges (10) and misdemeanors (5).  We generally need to pull court records to confirm whether you are eligible.

Step #2: Filing the Petition

Once we determine whether you are eligible for an expungement, we will file a petition for expunction in the clerk’s office in the county where you were charged.  You may need to sign affidavits and get character witnesses to do the same.  There may or may not be court costs of $175 depending on the type of expungement.

Step #3: Review by the SBI (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation)

Following an initial signature by a judge or district attorney (if required) the petition is then mailed to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  The SBI will conduct a search of the criminal records of North Carolina. Any records discovered will be attached to the petition and mailed to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).  After reviewing the petition for any prior expungements by petitioner, the AOC attaches another report of its findings and sends it back to the clerk of court of the county where the petition was originally filed. This part of the process can take several months.

Step #4: Final Judgment by the Court

Once the petition is returned to the courthouse a judge makes a final determination based on the petition and information provided by the SBI and AOC. A this point the judge may sign the order granting the expungement without a formal hearing. However, if there is a question as to the applicant’s eligibility or if the district attorney has an objection, then a formal hearing could be required.  Following that hearing, the court will either grant or deny the expungement petition.

Step #5: Removal of Expunged Records

Upon the granting of the expungement petition, the clerk of court is statutorily required to send notice of the expunction to all of the relevant agencies that have information about your case.  They are then required to eliminate those records from the system after they’ve received notice.

If you have a criminal record (conviction or dismissed case) contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC to speak with an expungement lawyer during a free consultation.  We can be reached at 919-585-1486.

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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 Do I Remove a Dismissed Case From My Record in North Carolina?

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A big question we often get from clients after getting their case is dismissed is “how will it affect my record?” Will a background check reveal that I was arrested? Will the charges show up when I go to rent property? The short answer is usually yes, the arrest and charges would still appear unless you get an expungement. 

Expungement of Dismissed Cases in NC

Expungement is a way to remove convictions or dismissed cases from your record so that future background checks won’t display any arrests or charges. For North Carolina residents, the possibility of pursuing expungement has recently changed in a good way. North Carolina has recently made it much easier to get dismissed cases removed from your record through the expunction process.

Governor Roy Cooper signed a new expungement law, which took effect on December 1, 2017. This new law cuts down the wait time for non-violent misdemeanor and felony convictions. Misdemeanor conviction wait times have been reduced from 15 years to 5. Felony convictions from 15 years to 10. The new law has also lifted the limit of one expungement when the defendant’s charges were dismissed or they were acquitted. Now if the defendants whose charges are dismissed or who were found “not guilty” can apply for as many expungements as they want (assuming no felony convictions or active criminal cases).

Petitioning for an expungement can seem easy but it has a number of steps and involves a good amount of specific clerical work. The petition must be filed in the county where the charges took place. Also, the expungement process is a lengthy one so properly filling out and filing the paperwork is very important as a small mistake could mean your petition gets denied and you have to start again from scratch (having lost tons of time).

If you have a dismissed case or a not guilty verdict on your record contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free North Carolina expungement consultation.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and we handle expungements throughout North Carolina. Our phone number is 919-585-1486.  Contact a North Carolina Expungement Lawyer today to discuss your case.

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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.

NC Expungement Information: Breaking & Entering is not a crime that is eligible for an expungement in North Carolina

Expungement Lawyer Wiley Nickel

Can you have a conviction for Breaking and Entering expunged from your criminal record in North Carolina?

If you were convicted of “Breaking & Entering” in North Carolina and you were 18 or older on the date of offense then North Carolina does not allow for an expungement of your conviction.

The expungement statute is § 15A-145.5.  Expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies; no age limitation. It lists the specific crimes that are not eligible for an expungement and it rules out convictions for B&E under section (7a)  An offense under G.S. 14-54(a), 14-54(a1), or 14-56.

Not allowed for Expungement under 15A-145.5

  1. § 14-56.  Breaking or entering into or breaking out of railroad cars, motor vehicles, trailers, aircraft, boats, or other watercraft.

  2. § 14-54.  Breaking or entering buildings generally. (a) Any person who breaks or enters any building with intent to commit any felony or larceny therein shall be punished as a Class H felon.

  3. § 14-54.  Breaking or entering buildings generally. (a1) Any person who breaks or enters any building with intent to terrorize or injure an occupant of the building is guilty of a Class H felony.

If you have a conviction for Breaking & Entering and you were under the age of 18 at the time of offense we may be able to help but would need to do a full evaluation to determine eligibility.

If you have questions about your eligibility for a North Carolina expungement you can call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation. We handle most of the counties in North Carolina for legal expunction work. Many people are eligible for expungements of dismissed charges and findings of “not guilty.” Even if your case is dismissed or you were found not guilty a record remains unless you petition the courts for an expungement.

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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.

North Carolina Expungements Lawyer

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Record Expungement: It’s Time for a New Future!

We all make mistakes. We all do things we are ashamed or embarrassed by. But when that mistake results in a criminal record, it can destroy your hopes for the future. In today’s economy, just one criminal conviction can make it hard to find employment or advance in your career. It weighs you down, destroys your hope, or just eats away at you with fear and embarrassment.

Personal, Professional, Expungement Expertise

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC is devoted to helping people move on after a criminal conviction in North Carolina. We think expungements are good for you and good for society.

We are a small client-centered expungement law firm, not a mass-market expungement mill. When we accept your North Carolina expungement case, you can put your mind at ease. We handle every aspect of your expungement, from the very start through the end.

A Reputation for Expungement Success

A successful expungement will improve the rest of your adult life. It’s not something to take lightly or to trust to the lowest bidder. A botched expungement wastes your time and money. If you’re serious about expunging the mistakes of your past, you owe it to yourself to invest in the very best North Carolina expungement law firm you can hire.

We keep our promises, and our expungement fees are honest and straight forward. We stake our reputation on every expungement case we handle.

How long does it take? In most cases, our law firm can file your expungement petition in three to six months. Rest assured, we do everything possible to speed your expungement along, but we never cut corners.

Start Your North Carolina Expungement – Today

With North Carolina expungement experience that matters, we’ve streamlined the process and know how to reduce costs. Our number one concern is getting your expungement finished and making your future the best that it can possibly be.

We start every case by obtaining your official North Carolina criminal record. Mr. Nickel & Ms. Botiglione then personally review your record and create a custom expungement plan to achieve your goals.  A dismissed criminal case still shows up on your record even after the case has been dismissed.  You need to file an expungemenet petition to clear your record of any dismissed cases or not guilty cases.

Call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free expungement consultation to see if you are eligible for a North Carolina expungement.  We handle expungements throughout North Carolina.  You can reach us at 919-585-1486.  Our office is located in Cary, NC.

When you’re looking for a:

Wake County Expungement Lawyer

Durham County Expungement Lawyer

Orange County Expungement Lawyer

Chatham County Expungement Lawyer

Mecklenburg County Expungement Lawyer

Cumberland County Expungement Lawyer

Guilford County Expungement Lawyer

Forsyth County Expungement Lawyer

Raleigh Expungement Lawyer

Charlotte Expungement Lawyer

Durham Expungement Lawyer

Fayetteville 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.

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.