Expungements in North Carolina: Second Chance Act


The Second Chance Act in North Carolina changed the face of the expungement process and, maybe most importantly, features automatic expungement for some. Charges that result in a not guilty verdict or a dismissal will automatically be expunged by law. While the new statute doesn't specifically lay out the expungement process, it clarifies that expungement attorneys can initiate and submit expungement requests.


The new expungement law broadens the scope of its application and provides relief for those convicted of minor crimes. Before the Second Chance Act, only a single non-violent or non-DWI misdemeanor conviction would qualify for expungement. As long as they met specific criteria like a five-year waiting period and the exclusion of felony offenses, they had a shot.


The new law gives those expungement lawyers seeking expungements in North Carolina a more flexible and forgiving process. The Second Chance Act allows for multiple non-violent misdemeanor conviction expungements after seven years. The new law also expands the list of offenses that qualify for expungement in North Carolina, such as when a defendant was under 18 and charged with possession


Here's what you need to know:


Automatic Relief

Certain misdemeanor and felony charges that are dismissed or result in not guilty after December 1, 2021, will be automatically expunged. This means qualifying individuals will no longer have to file an expungement petition to have the charges removed from their criminal record in North Carolina.


Juvenile Expungements

An individual or attorney may file an expunction for misdemeanor and Class H or I felony convictions that were handed down when the plaintiff was under 18 but over 16 before December 1, 2019.


No More Felony Disqualification

The new expungement law in North Carolina eliminates the felony disqualification to have separate “not guilty” or dismissed cases expunged.


Now that you know how much easier it can be to get an expungement in North Carolina, we can make it even easier. Even with the new expungement law, having charges expunged still involves the typical legal system red tape, so to wrap things up nice and tight, you'll need an expungement attorney.


You don't have to let unfounded charges or mistakes you made in your youth haunt you for the rest of your life. Get a fresh start and a clean slate when you contact the Law Offices of Jason H. Reece in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the best expungement defense.


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