Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were more than 20.5 million jobs lost in April of 2020 in the United States, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate in the United States fell from approximately 3.5% in February of this year, to a whopping 14.7% by the end of April. The New York Times reports that 78.3% of Americans who lost their jobs in April of 2020 categorized their job loss as a temporary layoff, and 11% said their job loss was permanent.
Times like these, where unemployment and uncertainty are high, individuals with a criminal record can have a difficult time finding new employment. Even old charges, if they were not expunged, will still show up on a background check. It is more important now than ever to have a clean record when looking for a new job. The sooner you pursue an expunction of your record, the sooner you can have a clean record. Not only will your clean record be more pleasing to potential employers, but you will have a weight lifted off your shoulders for having your charges expunged.
Expungement is a legal action in which the petitioner or plaintiff seeks that the court destroys or seals prior criminal convictions from Federal or State official records. Until December 1, 2017, an individual could pursue an Expunction only once in their lifetime in the state of North Carolina. However, with the ratification of Senate Bill 445 on July 28, 2017, the accessibility of the expunction process has been drastically improved effective December 1, 2017. Unless an individual has a felony conviction on their record, there is no limit on how many charges that individual can get expunged off their record as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. Without an expungement, criminal charges remain on one’s record even when there is no conviction.
David Collins has been handling scores of expunctions for over two decades in New Hanover County, Pender County, and Brunswick County. If you are interested in having your record expunged, please give our office a call at (910) 793-9000 for a confidential consultation to discuss your eligibility.
By Karen M. Thompson, Paralegal