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North Carolina Passes First Expungement Law:

On July 16, 2012, North Carolina passed the monumental House Bill 1023. It is the first bill of its kind in North Carolina to offer broad expungement opportunities for adults convicted of low-level crimes. Endorsed by Second Chance Alliance, Republican Representative Daughtry, and a number of Democratic Representatives, this bill was set to take effect on December 1, 2012. The law applies to all persons with first time convictions of nonviolent misdemeanors and low level felonies who have completed his or her sentence at least 15 years prior to expungement.

This bill has major implications for an estimated 1.6 million individuals with criminal records in North Carolina. It can make a huge difference not only in their personal lives when it comes to renting a house for example, but also in their professional endeavors. They now have the opportunity to remove barriers keeping them from being productive citizens of the state.

House Bill 1023 sets out specific guidelines for expunging one’s records. In order to expunge a criminal record, the person must file a petition in the court they were convicted. Further, the person must not be actively serving time, on probation, or on post-release supervision. The petition must contain the following items:

  • An affidavit by the petitioner
  • Verified affidavits by two people who are not related to the petitioner
  • An affidavit showing the petitioner has no outstanding restitution orders or civil judgment
  • The completed application
  • Check of $175

The following crimes are not eligible for expungement under this bill: class A through G felonies, class A1 misdemeanors, an offense that includes assault as an essential element of the offense, sex offenses that require registration, specific sex-related or stalking offenses, felony drug-related offenses, or use of a motor vehicle to commit a felony. Those who apply and are later denied will be provided with the reason for denial.

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Written by Jennifer Strange

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