New North Carolina Expungement Laws Can Clear Your Criminal Record

In North Carolina, an expunction is the removal of a criminal record by the state court. An expunction (also called an “expungement”) restores the individual to the legal status they had before the criminal record was made. With few exceptions, the new North Carolina expunction laws can provide relief for thousands of residents. For expungement exceptions, please see North Carolina General Statutes §15A-151 for specific details.

Prior to 2011, the process of expunging a criminal record in North Carolina was complicated and often unsuccessful due to the restrictive statutes. It's long overdue, but legislators have finally made the expunction process more accessible and more likely to succeed for many, especially youth offenders. 

The new expunction law in North Carolina went into effect December 1, 2021, and cites the following criminal records as eligible for expungement:

  • Three or fewer “non-violent” felony convictions

  • One or more “non-violent” misdemeanor convictions

  • First-time convictions of certain offenses committed before age 18/22

  • One or multiple convictions of certain offenses committed before December 1, 2019, AND the convicted person was under the age of 18

  • Charges that have been dismissed or disposed of as “not guilty”

  • Other youth and adult criminal offenses as directed by the courts

The primary goal of the new North Carolina expunction laws is to increase access to expunction relief for North Carolinians with criminal records. The expunction law changes will help many state residents with relatively minor or underage convictions, but navigating the required paperwork and other details can still be a challenge. The quickest and easiest way to get an expunction in North Carolina is to work with an experienced expungement attorney who understands the new laws and processes. 

If you want to learn how to get an expungement in North Carolina, the Jason Reese law firm in Charlotte is ready to help. We'll review your case, advise you on the best course of action, and get the ball rolling so you can clear your record. With our years of experience and local relationships, we get you the fair and just process you deserve. Get in touch with us today, and let us show you how we can make your criminal record go away.