Criminal convictions can change your life. Most come with penalties that could include extensive fines and prison terms. Abiding by the penalties of a conviction is intended to “pay the debt to society” and allow a person to rehabilitate themselves into a productive citizen. Unfortunately, these stigmas can continue to follow a person. Those with a criminal record may believe that the punishments continue long after they have served their sentence, extending to employment, housing, and relationships.
In certain circumstances, an expunction of criminal convictions from your record could be a way to move beyond this. Not every crime qualifies for expunction, but for some, this could be the answer they have been looking for.
Understanding what can be expunged from your record can be just as complicated as the process to do so. However, the knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorneys at Doug Edwards Law are available for assistance. With our help, you can take the first steps in reclaiming many of the freedoms in your life that you are already entitled to.
Expunction is a legal process that seeks to remove a criminal charge or conviction from a person’s criminal record. In addition, it petitions the state to seal any record of the arrest, charge, and/or conviction. However, even if an expunction is granted, your record could still be used in certain instances, such as federal immigration cases.
There are many statutes that govern expunctions and define what may qualify for the process. Some of the types of convictions and charges that could be expunged include:
These charges or convictions, among others, can qualify for an expunction even after several years.
Recently, North Carolina made it easier for those with multiple misdemeanor convictions to qualify. Previously, expunction was only available to first-time offenders. However, these misdemeanors must be nonviolent instances.
Even with many charges or convictions qualifying for expunction, the list of charges that cannot be expunged is more extensive. Those that do not qualify for expunction include:
While working with an expungement attorney to guide you through the process, you can request the expunction by following the steps below:
If your expunction is denied for any reason, you can work with your attorney to file an appeal.
Many believe that the process to expunge one’s record is easy and can begin immediately. However, depending on the level and number of offenses on your record, there are different waiting periods before you can begin the petition process.
In 2021, North Carolina passed the Second Chance Act, which provided the specifics for removing multiple misdemeanors from your record. It also provided automatic expungements for cases that are dismissed or end with a not guilty verdict. For multiple misdemeanors, the charges must be for nonviolent crimes.
Whether you were charged and acquitted, your case was dismissed, or you served your penalties for your criminal conviction, you shouldn’t have to spend the rest of your life paying for your mistakes. At Doug Edwards Law, we believe in redemption and know that the circumstances of one moment don’t define you for a lifetime. If you are ready to live your life with the full freedoms you deserve, contact our criminal defense attorneys today.