Several new laws went into effect this past Saturday in North Carolina and one could have a major impact on non-violent offenders.
Lawmakers have worked for nearly a decade to create a law that gives judges the power to erase criminal records for non-violent offenders with good behavior. The new law took effect December 1 and may impact thousands of people, according to the North Carolina Justice Center.
Under the new law, court records can be erased for a misdemeanor or low-level felony offense if the person has displayed good behavior for 15 years. It is unknown what factors judges will take into consideration when determining what is "good behavior" and which offenses are more likely to be erased.
Supporters of the new law state that erasing a misdemeanor or low-level felony from a person's criminal record will make it easier for them to find a job and apply for public housing assistance.
The new law will possibly impact thousands of individuals but only time will tell how many judges actually use this law to erase a crime from an offender's record. This law may help many people with criminal convictions but it is still important for people arrested or charged with a crime to work with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Criminal charges should be taken very seriously. Misdemeanor convictions can impact the rest of an individual's life. Having a permanent record can impact an individual's ability to find a job, housing as well as place restrictions on their life depending on the crime they were convicted of.
Source: WECT, "New laws take effect in North Carolina on December 1," Bailey Hicks, Dec. 2, 2012
Our law firm represents individuals charged with misdemeanors and felonies. To learn more about our law firm, please visit our Wilmington Misdemeanor page.