Can your public record be expunged?

The defense of any crime you may have been accused of committing in Wilmington will often continue even in the event that you are convicted. For example, once you have fulfilled whatever requirements associated with your criminal conviction, you may need to fight to ensure that you maintain your rights going forward. Having a criminal conviction on your record can limit your future opportunities. Thus, seeking an expunction of your public record is certainly something you should pursue.

Yet is such a benefit available to you? For many years, North Carolina mainly allowed those who committed offenses as a juvenile to have their records expunged. However, according to the North Carolina School of Government, recent years have seen the state extend that benefit to include the age of the offense. Today, expunction is available for a broad range of misdemeanor and even felony offenses. To qualify, five to 10 years has to have passed from either the date of your conviction or the completion of your sentence before you can apply to have the offense expunged (the exact time period depends on the offense you were convicted). On top of that, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You cannot have any other prior felony or misdemeanor conviction on your record (other than a traffic violation)
  • You must have displayed good moral character since your conviction
  • You cannot have any outstanding warrants or criminal cases pending against you
  • You cannot have any outstanding restitution orders or judgments in place representing restitution

Expunction due to the age of the offense is a one-time benefit. You cannot seek it for any subsequent offenses you may face in the future.

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