Part of growing up and living life is making mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes are serious enough to lead to lasting consequences, such as criminal convictions on your record.
If you were convicted of a crime in the past, or even if you were simply charged for one, you may be possible to get the charge or conviction expunged. An expunction removes convictions or charges from your criminal record so that they no longer appear on your background check. This can help make it easier to get a job, rent housing or apply for other roles in your life.
How does North Carolina handle expunctions?
In North Carolina, expunctions are only allowed in a few situations. You may be able to get your conviction or charge expunged if you can show that:
- You have DUI or DWI charges that were dismissed
- You have DUI or DWI charges for which you were found not guilty
- The charges for a crime were dismissed
- The charges resulted in a not-guilty verdict
- You have drug charges on your record (your age and the type of charge matters)
- You have felony convictions, they were nonviolent and enough time has passed (usually one to 10 years)
- You have a nonviolent misdemeanor that has been on your record for over five years
It’s not always possible to eliminate every type of charge or conviction, but if you have charges that were dismissed or a conviction that happened many years ago, you may be in a position to seek an expunction.
How does an expunction help you?
An expunction helps by preventing past charges or convictions from showing up on your background check. As of Dec. 1, 2020, the types of criminal records eligible for expunction in the state were increased. So, if you have a history of charges or convictions and haven’t looked into expunction since before that date, you may find that your charges or convictions are eligible today. This is something to think about, since removing those items from a background check could open many doors for you, making it possible to get a new job, move or get federal loans for schooling in the future.