Part of life is making mistakes and then learning from these mistakes. If one of your mistakes involved getting arrested and possibly convicted of a crime, that mistake can follow you for a long time. A criminal charge remains on your record, whether or not you were found guilty. Whenever you apply for a job, a loan or anything else that requires a background check, your charge or conviction will likely show up. Even though you learned from your mistake, a potential employer may only see a warning sign flashing in black and white.
However, you may not have to go through life missing important opportunities. In North Carolina, many people who have faced criminal charges or even convictions are eligible for an expunction.
An expunction clears your record
An expunction removes charges or convictions from your criminal record. This will generally prevent these criminal charges or convictions from showing up when someone does a background check on you. It also means you no longer must answer yes to questions about criminal charges or convictions when filling out any type of application.
North Carolina recently changed its law regarding expunctions. The new law allows more people to be eligible for having their criminal record cleared. Below are the types of charges or convictions that can be expunged.
- Charges that were dismissed
- Charges that resulted in a not guilty verdict
- DWI or DUI charges that resulted in a dismissal or not guilty verdict
- Drug charges may be expunged, depending on the charge and age of the defendant
- Nonviolent felony convictions may be eligible, after one to ten years, depending on the age of the defendant and the charge
- Many nonviolent misdemeanors after five years
The new law makes it easier for North Carolina residents to clear their criminal record. If you made a mistake in your past, it does not have to follow you around for your lifetime. You may want to consider reaching out to a criminal defense attorney. He or she can help you determine if you are eligible for an expunction.